COLUMBIA, Mo. – In their fourth meeting, residents of Columbia’s north neighborhood determined which approach they wanted to take to create a neighborhood watch program and community center.
The purpose of Tuesday’s meeting was to develop a plan to accomplish these two goals. The group decided what the leadership structure will look like, who will hold leadership roles, which of the goals residents want to be involved in, and how often they will meet.
The group voted on three approaches to the plan, eventually deciding to use a one team approach that has the whole community working together to contribute to the efforts. Several members of the community stepped forward to take on leadership roles.
“We have our leaders, now we need to mobilize this team,” said Nikki McGruder, one of three strategic plan partners hired by the city.
The group decided to meet once a week on Tuesday evenings at Derby Ridge Elementary.
The next step is to build a new police station for the north neighborhood that will have room for a community center. One resident spoke out in favor of the community center, and said it will help keep teens out of trouble and give them the interest to do more.
The meeting was part of the 2016-2019 strategic plan. The objective is to help three low to moderate income neighborhoods become better places to live. Community Outreach Officer, Amy Bishop, is in charge of implementing the neighborhood watch programs.
“We find that when neighbors start communicating with each other, crime tends to, if not go down at first, it starts to level off,” Bishop said.
The three strategic plan partners Nikki McGruder, Carolyn Sullivan and Elisa Glick, with help from officer Bishop, will help implement the plans with the north neighborhood residents in the coming months.