Columbus police make an effort to seize crime in city limits

Keeping the streets clean of crime is what law enforcement agencies try to do in and out

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Keeping the streets clean of crime is what law enforcement agencies try to do in and out. For officials with Columbus Police Department; they’ve taken an extra step to try and do just that.

In November 2021 the Columbus Police Department came up with a plan that was found to be effective.

“We put together what we call a street detail and what we do get extra people to come in and do some overtime in some of the areas where we were having an uptick in crime we actually had officers to start working and that program started to become successful, ”said Columbus police chief Fred Shelton.

Chief Shelton and his team came up with the Crime Prevention Unit or CPU. The department saw the need for the unit with increased crime and limited officers.

The crime prevention unit team will be made up of three officers and a supervisor. They’ll patrol high crime areas in Columbus with the goal of building a closer relationship with the community.

“What we plan on doing is get out and try to become proactive trying to curtail a bunch of this stuff that’s going on; What we’re going to try to do is get in the community, be seen so people can get to know us and talk to people in the community, ”said Sgt. Eric Lewis.

Lewis will be an instrumental piece to the CPU team. Once the department gets the 64 officers it needs then the Crime Prevention Unit will become a permanent unit. The unit will patrol areas, mingle with citizens, and make arrests if need be, but putting folks behind bars isn’t what they want to accomplish; they want to become one with their neighbors.

“We’re going to work with other organizations. A member of this team doesn’t know this yet but there are a lot of mentoring programs and some of these officers are going to be mentoring young people in these programs, ”Shelton said.

A main group for the officers is to reach the youth; helping them realize that crime is not the only way of solving issues.

“It’s other ways that you can solve a problem it’s other ways that you can find to do something other than getting out here shooting and committing violent crimes that don’t need to be committed,” Lewis said.

Shelton and Lewis encourage folks to not be afraid of seeing officers in their neighborhoods. They’d rather people get acquainted with them and work as a team to limit crime throughout the city.