COLUMBIA (WACH) - "I'm excited about him showing focus on Five Points. I think we've needed it for a while." says Good For the Sole owner Kelly Tabor.
Tabor is referencing Columbia Police Chief "Skip" Holbrook's plan to hone in on the hospitality districts in Columbia.
Holbrook met with the City's Budget Committee on Tuesday to lay out the needs of the Columbia Police Department.
One item on the list is a request to provide additional patrol officers in Five Points.
"We want to be able to staff to address crime hot spots at strategic times. We do that right now through overtime. It's a good stop gap strategy but it's not sustainable." says Holbrook.
Holbrook's plan is to assign 12 additional officers to Five Points.
There are currently five officers assigned to Five Points full time.
However, staffing is the not the only way Holbrook is approaching the issue.
He says he's also implementing public safety inititatives like parking patrol cars in highly visible areas.
But he says ultimately, success will be a team effort.
"You know, that's working collectively and collaborating with business and our other city departments and it just needs to be a team approach." Holbrook states.
Businesses like Good for the Sole are on board to help in any way possible.
Kelly has a few suggestions based on observations he has made during his almost nine years in Five Points.
"Increased walking patrols. Maybe them walking in pairs. Checking the perimeters of Five Points, because that seems to be where a lot of that activity is happening, when people are on their way home from the area." Kelly says.
A reflection that seems to be right on point with Holbrook's goals for the Police Department.
Holbrook also addressed his plans for the Vista/Main Street area during the meeting.
There are currently four full time officers assigned to that area.
Holbrook would like to add eight additional officers.