MSA Senate resolutions support CPD programs
Resolution 52-22, one of two resolutions recently passed by the MSA Senate, states its support of crime reduction programs in Columbia apartments.
Oct. 19, 2012
The Missouri Students Association Senate passed two resolutions Wednesday in support of the Columbia Police Department’s Crime Free Program.
Resolution 52-22, authored by MSA senator Derek Chung, is a statement of support for these programs. Resolution 52-23, also authored by Chung, is a statement that supports CPD succession planning that does not affect the Crime Free Program.
The Crime Free Multi-Housing Program, a part of the Crime Free Program is a safety certification for apartments complexes, rental properties and their management. He said it takes a three-tiered approach for drug and crime reduction. The first tier is a class that teaches management about things such as surveillance, applicant screening, background checks and lighting. The second tier is a property inspection for things such as deadbolt locks and proper lighting. The third tier is a tenant crime prevention meeting.
Chung said these resolutions are important because of increased efforts to promote conversation between MSA and the Columbia Police Department. He said they are also important because of the proven success of the Crime Free Programs.
“I joined MSA originally because there was an armed robbery at The Grove and I was mad that they weren’t informing people about it,” Chung said. “And although this program doesn’t inform the mass of students about these crimes, it will prevent them. When I joined, I saw a lot of good things about this program. It’s really credible. It’s proven to work. I think it would be really good for us.”
Chung said that the passing of 52-22 would allow him to promote the program and look at its expansion to more properties. Currently, only eight properties in Columbia are certified, and Chung said he hopes to focus on properties that students want to live in.
MSA Senator Jordan Denker also was in support of the resolutions.
“Currently the crime free program is not well advertised and not utilized by as many complexes as we would hope,” Denker said in an email. “With MSA's support we hope to show CPD we want this program to grow and show housing complexes this is something students want. This is a safety issue that should be addressed, and the crime free program has been proven successful in decreasing crime rate.”
However, because of CPD's succession planning, Chung said the program could be left without a certified officer to run it, which would suspend the program. Chung said the current officer, Tim Thomason, has a lot of experience with the program. If he is reassigned to other tasks or assignments, Chung said a replacement would need to attend the certification program in Kansas City this summer.
“He (Police Chief Ken Burton) hasn’t assigned anyone to this program yet,” Chung said. “This resolution is saying that we want to make sure that either Tim Thomason is staying in place or there is a suitable candidate that will not affect the active status of this program.”
Denker said the resolutions are important to demonstrate support for these programs.
“The resolutions are important because they can show the Columbia Police Department that students want this program to continue and grow,” Denker said. “We believe this is an active start at reducing crime that seems to be increasing in Columbia. From these resolutions we hope this program becomes more popular with complexes around Columbia, specifically student housing.”
According to Resolution 52-23, Burton will rotate officers every three to five years, which would remove the assigned officer, Thomason, from the program leaving no certified officer to take over the program for five to six months unless a new officer is trained.