Downtown Optimist Club of Columbia
Zoom/In Person Meeting Newsletter
Monday, February 14, 2022 at the Your Pie
Members attend in person President Tony Parisio, Larry Fick, Jerry Sullivan, Nadia Ryakmyatullov, Mike Russell, Red Leighton, Steve Winter, Mike Hackett, Charlie Langreder, Steve Klein, Ken Oster, Ed Musterman, Mary Dewey, John Jones, and Rick McKernan By Zoom Deb Swangens, and Scott Stager. Special Guest were Ken’s wife Beverly, Steve’s Wife Reng, Charlie’s wife Bonnie, Chief of Police Geoff Jones, Communication and Outreach Supervisor, Toni Messina, and Asst. Police Chief, Jeremiah Hunter
Prayer- John Jones, Pledge Charlie Langreder
Birthday/Anniversary: Red’s Wife turn 94 year old on Saturday, February 12
Larry Fick started back working at the Food Bank
There will be a Board meeting this Thursday at 6:00 pm at the Clubhouse We have 3 funding request which are Food Bank, Daniel Boone Little League, and Hickman Review.
There are now Cabinets in the kitchen area of the clubhouse and new tables. The committee will be meeting on Tuesday, February 15 at 12:30 pm
There was a Soap Box Derby meeting on Sunday, February 13 there was bunch of kids with their parent there to learn more about Soap Box Derby. This event will held on Sunday, June 12.
Mary Dewey let everyone know that 2nd quarter conference will be in St. Charles on Friday, February 25 and Saturday, February 26 at the Embassy Suites. There will be a chicken wing contest on Friday night to raise money for the OI Foundation. More detail to come. Who is going is Deb Swanegan, Mary Dewey, Tony Parisio and Rick McKernan. Please let us know if anyone else would like to go so we can get registration.
Rick McKernan let us know that the Oratorical and Essay contest will be take place by the end of February or first of March. All the Optimist Club in Columbia will be helping with this event. Deb Swanegan has volunteered to help Rick in finding students to take place in these two contest. We know that Father Tolton High has some students in Jennifer Black’s class who will taking part again this year.
Deb Swanegan and Mary Dewey will be going to the CPS Art Chair soon to talk to them about the elementary school visual art contest. This is a contest for students who are the under the age 11 years old who love to paint and draw. Their theme is “Optimism “
We talked about different place to meet for our meeting on Monday. The board decided last month to have our club meeting at the clubhouse. By doing that we will be saving money that, we can give out to the youth in the community. We had move come over to the Senior Citizen where club members can get a meal that we did Monday at the clubhouse.
John Jones checked out Your Pie Plate a Pizza place south of town. They have a private room that we can use on Monday for our meeting and they wave the room charge. They have a meal gift card for $10.00 we can buy or sell for a fundraiser. This card is for a meal and drink.
The boys and girls club chili contest will be held on Saturday, March 5 at the Holiday Inn Executive Center. Scott Stager will not be chair for this event this year to COVID-19 and his health. Therefore, we are looking for a new person to take over the chili contest this year to take over this event if you are inserted please let Tony or me know. Greg Schnieder will be taking over as Chair for this event this year
Our Guest Speaker Chief Geoff Jones spoke:
Here is some history: his mom raised him. He lived with his grandma after his mom didn’t want him to be around his brother anymore this was at age 14. His brother was selling drugs to help pay the family bills, He stole cars at a young age out ran the cop but when got home the cop was their drinking coffee with his grandma in the kitchen. He worked at Ron’s boy restaurant from the age of 11 to when he went to college. He join the police cadet. Put himself through college in Sedalia, MO.
Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones described his background growing up in Columbia, getting involved ion the police cadet program at age 15, graduating from college and eventually joining CPD as an officer in 1998. He was appointed permanent Chief in September 2019.
Staffing continues to be a challenge locally and across the nation. CPD has approximately 20 vacant officer positions, and 53 officers will be eligible to retire within the next year. Locally, many have started new careers at Veterans United. That said, CPD wants quality officers with good character, and Chief would rather “work short than work satupid.” Pay is a concern, and that could change for the better under the City’s classification and compensation study for all employees.
Other topics include the following.
CPD has a good working relationship with the County Sheriff.
CPD and Prosecutor’s Office have similar goals, but assistant prosecutors are carrying 600 – 700 cases per.
The number of homicides in Columbia in 2021 was half that of the previous year. The clearance rate has increased from about 40% to about 80% because of Assistant Chief Jeremiah Hunter’s leadership.
A report of shots heard does not always mean that shots were actually fired. People can hear other loud noises and mistake them for gunshots. When CPD gets a shots fired report, investigators will search the scene for evidence and talk with witnesses.
For officers experiencing stress, CPD offers peer counseling, chaplain counseling, private contractor services and the City’s Employee Assistance Program.
The Citizens Academy is expected to start in a few months.
It is possible to issue a trespass order to someone who is not authorized to be on your private property.
A good way to support CPD is to speak out, including at City Council meetings.
They work hand and hand with the Boone County Sheriff Department. He make sure to everyday to talk to everyone on all three floor of the police department. The officers work 12 to 16 hours days right now. The have a chaplain ride with different officers in the department where they can talk about what is going on in their life.
Closed with the Optimist, Jerry Sullivan
Meeting end at 12:45 pm
Tony Parision, President