Professional police officers nationwide spend much of their days on the job embattled and at odds with the populace they are sworn to protect.
But Columbia Police Chief Jerry Paul, with the support of the Columbia City Council, has continued to grow his department with the type of quality and experienced officers other departments can only hope to attract.
“The (city council) worked with the mayor and the city administrator to put into place the ability to be competitive in our hiring,” Paul said.
“We are very cognizant of the need to feel safe in the community,” Mayor Kevin Hutchinson said. “The only way to address this is to have the highest caliber of officers available to protect and serve the citizens of Columbia.”
Paul noted a prior pay disparity among Columbia and neighboring communities the council rectified, allowing him to make more competitive offers. The council also has given him the latitude to participate in programs through which he can actively recruit additional officers, like a new partnership with the Drug Enforcement Agency and the department’s longstanding relationship with the Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois.
At Monday’s city council meeting, Hutchinson administered the oath of office to Andrew Krump and Anthony Delaney, bringing the total CPD force up to 18 full-time officers…>>>
Read the full story in the January 9, 2019, newspaper.
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