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Columbia task force on violence doesn't meet quorum despite recent crime

By Jillian Fertig, Reporter, jillian.fertig@kmiz.com
Published On: Jan 22 2014 10:19:08 PM CST
COLUMBIA, Mo. -

The Columbia Mayor's Task Force on Community Violence was set to meet Wednesday night. But despite a recent crime spree in Columbia, the leaders appointed to find solutions didn't have enough members present to have that meeting.

Although the majority of members weren't there, the ones who showed up listened to a presentation about crime statistics from a University of Missouri professor.

Fifth Ward Councilwoman and co-chair of the task force Laura Nasuer said it was unfortunate that the members who were not there missed good information.

She said the items under old business on their agenda can be discussed at their next meeting. She also said the small groups within the task force are still working to gather data for the effort.

Currently, there are eight unsolved violent crimes that have happened in less than two months.

Police said they believe five shootings during this time are connected to two feuding groups.

ABC 17 News asked Nauser if she thought community policing is working.

"Police can have a component in trying to prevent crime, especially in the narcotics realm, but I think that's about as far as it goes," she said.

In addition to police, Nauser said community members who witness these crimes need to come forward with information. But she said the community has come a long way since a crime spike in 2007.

"It's a multi-faceted issue and problem, but the greatest thing about it is, our community is aware of it and we are talking about it," Nauser said.

But she said even though the community is taking steps in the right direction, crime will never be completely eliminated.

The next task force meeting has not been set yet.

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