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Yes, we're a small town, but we're not Mayberry . . .

"Yes, we're a small town but we're not Mayberry. Barney and Andy are dead and Opie is out in California making money." That's a quote overheard from a prior boss and shared in the safety discussion by Columbia Police Department Chief Jason Cross.

By Linda Waggener

A tip line, 270-384-4119, and neighborhood watch organizations are being encouraged by the Columbia Police Department, according to Chief Jason cross who spoke to the Caregivers group Wednesday, December 6, 2017. Personal and home safety were the topics of the discussion and question and answer session.

These developments are in response to increasing crime which Chief Cross attributes to growing problems surrounding illegal drug dependency.

Columbia is a small but quickly growing town. He said each day there are an extra 5,000 people in town, between public school and college students, and that doesn't count people driving into Columbia for their jobs.

He quoted a former boss you used to tell people, "Yes, we're a small town but we're not Mayberry. Barney and Andy are dead and Opie is out in California making money."

Speaking from his 19 years on the police force, with eight of those years as chief, Cross said when he was in high school there were no safety issues in Adair County that compare to today. He said you could drive around with your shotgun hanging in your back window and you could leave your doors unlocked. That is no longer the case. It is from his experience that he feels changes in the crime rates come from growing illegal drug dependency which increases calls to 911 for help in schools as well as in homes.

He covered scams that sweep the country and cause all kinds of problems to businesses as well as individuals. He said homeowners should never respond to request for money over the phone. He said also to never open your door, day or night, to someone that you are not expecting or who know very well.

He responded to one theft in a home where someone had knocked on the door and told the resident that the Lord told him to come inside their home. He advised never leaving medicine bottles where they can be seen through windows or by people who might be in your home. Addicts are spending full time watching and waiting for opportunities to steal medicines and/or items they can sell for money to buy drugs.

He advised calling the Columbia Police Department tip line with any non-emergencies where you just feel concern, like seeing suspicious vehicles or individuals out of place, or for safety concerns.

The number is 270-384-4119 to leave tips about concerns in your home or neighborhood, or to ask for help of a non-emergency issue. Calling this number leaves emergency 911 open for urgent needs.

This story was posted on 2017-12-07 14:22:21
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