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Columbia’s CCP: A Case Study

An Epilogue to Columbia s CCP Case Study

Introduction

The Comprehensive Communities Program in Columbia, SC, although funded through the city’s Planning Department, focused on implementing community policing and, through a unique program of police “community mobilizers,” linking troubled and troublesome citizens to social and other forms of services. Citizen and community participation in efforts is chan- neled through the Columbia Council of Neighborhoods (CCN) – an associa- tion made up of 64 neighborhood organizations. Other characteristics of Co- lumbia’s CCP included close linkages among city agencies, the involvement of the faith community, close working relationships among city officials, espe- cially police, planning, housing, and school officials.

Community Policing

Community policing continues to expand in Columbia: community mobilizers continue to operate in the three original communities and have been added to one new neighborhood; the department continues to shift to community po- licing; and a second Koban has been opened.

The core of Columbia’s CCP effort is its community mobilization program staffed by three police officers who were located in three Comprehensive Community Program target neighborhoods: Rosewood, Eau Claire, and Wa- verly. Although staffed by different officers now, the community mobilization effort continues in these three neighborhoods. Three new officers have been appointed “mobilizers” – consolidating their role in Columbia’s anti-crime strategy. A special focus of the new mobilizers has been to link senior citi- zens with special skills to promising youths. Youths will not only receive mentoring and have access to job opportunities, they will be paid for their apprenticeship activities.

Two of the former mobilizers are now working citywide in crime prevention activities with neighborhood groups. The third, Officer Angel Cruz, has been assigned to a new neighborhood – basically two large apartment buildings, one private and one public. Crime and disorder problems in these buildings, and the neighborhood as a result, had been worsening. Officer Cruz was sent in to stabilize the neighborhood by dealing with its problems in a manner similar to his activities in the Eau Claire neighborhood.

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