Chief Blackmon’s plans to fight crime in the city of Columbus

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 1:34 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - We continue to follow details of a newly released strategic plan for the Columbus Police Department. Chief Freddie Blackmon presented the plan to city council March 14.

It came after an independent assessment highlighted several issues with the department.

City council members asked Columbus Police Chief Freddie Blackmon for a strategic plan in February of this year.

“That’s 30 days, and quarterly we should have updates on where we stand in trying to implement whatever those solutions are,” said city councilmember John House.

This is after an assessment paid for through the private sector.

“I wanted to clarify $189,507 is the minimum and not the maximum, because there could be some travel, of course it’s not at the expense of the city or taxpayers and CCG,” said city manager Isaiah Hugley during the May 31st council meeting.

After given 30 days to complete the plan, the chief told us he would get with his command unit and follow through.

The city, so far, has already seen 14 homicides this year.

One plan highlighted is to gradually replace some of the sworn positions in crime scene division with civilian personnel, by July of this year if approved by council. This means people hired who aren’t sworn officers can take pictures and complete other procedures at some crime scenes.

The plan also has a proposed reorganization of the entire bureau of investigations with some of the recommendations and timelines already in the works.

Under being able to hire, retain, and train officers, according to the plan, the desired outcome is to “effectively address gang activity in Columbus.”

The chief plans to organize a retention committee with a written retention police that is already being worked on.

By August, the chief wants to rotate officers on a monthly time frame to train in the bureau of investigations to better investigate all cases.

With so many goals within one plan, we will see if council will approve some of the recommendations, putting paper into action.