CPD seeks funding to expand law enforcement efforts

Published: Sep. 17, 2015 at 11:18 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2015 at 11:18 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Back in 2013, the City of Columbia obtained property near Busby Street between Farrow Road and one end of the Clyburn pedestrian bridge over South Carolina Highway 277.

Officials began locking down a design plan for a major Columbia police substation, evidence storage and training facility that would be linked to a community center and a public plaza.

The proposed $14.6 million complex would establish a police presence in an area that had significant amounts of drug trafficking, break-ins, and other crimes for many years. It would also give CPD a place for CSI and SVU units along with a permanent place to house evidence instead of renting the space it has now on Bluff Road.

"It would be quite helpful because as you see what we have is M.L. Smith Community Development Center and, sometimes, our facility is too small to accommodate some of the community activities," Pastor Michael Baker of Greater St. Luke Baptist Church said. "So, the buildings they're planning to build here will enhance the recreation on this side. The only close recreation that you have here would either be down in Greenview or the Drew Wellness Center. This brings something in between and gives the folk over in the apartment area a little closer and a little more activity that they can participate in."

The property was purchased by the city with help from a federal Empowerment Zone grant. However, it now appears City Council would have to find a way to fund that near $15 million cost.

CPD points out that this is not a project to replace the main headquarters building downtown.

Chief Skip Holbrook does believe, however, the department has outgrown that facility.

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