An annual internal affairs report released March 1 revealed the Columbia Police Department made 11.1 percent more arrests in 2016 than in 2015.
According to the report, 3.1 percent of all citizen contacts resulted in arrests. This amounts to 4,836 recorded arrests, a noticeable increase from the 4,351 arrests made the previous year.
Despite these statistics, it is unclear whether the increase was a result of more misdemeanors or more felonies committed. Sgt. Brian Tate, who is part of CPD’s internal affairs division, said his department does not separate arrests by type and only calculates the total number of arrests.
“To try and determine why exactly arrests rose from the previous year would only be speculation at this point,” Tate said. “It is not atypical for arrests to fluctuate from one year to the other.”
However, Tate suggested the rise could be due to increased demand from Columbia’s growing population. Calls for service by citizens rose by 2.8 percent, and officers made a total of 150,874 citizen contacts, up from 146,683 in 2015.
“It goes without saying because calls for service rise, the chances for additional arrests will increase as well,” Tate said. “Columbia is a community growing yearly, so therefore the chances for calls for service and arrests may continue to increase.”
The report also included information about cases of police misconduct. Citizens reported 66 cases in 2016, yet 23 were determined to be unfounded and 20 were exonerated by Chief Ken Burton.
Regarding cases of internal misconduct, officers reported 40 cases, 28 of which were sustained. This is a decrease from 2015, when 51 cases were reported and 39 were sustained.
Edited by Madi McVan | firstname.lastname@example.org