Columbia city officials host safety meeting for upcoming Experience Christmas events

Columbia city officials host safety meeting for upcoming Experience Christmas events

COLUMBIA, Miss. (WDAM) - The City of Columbia and the Columbia Police Department met with the city’s downtown business community Tuesday to discuss public safety issues for the upcoming 3rd annual Experience a Columbia Christmas event.

The meeting took place at the offices of the Marion County Development Partnership.

Experience a Columbia Christmas is a six-week series of public events in downtown Columbia during the Holiday season that is co-sponsored by the city and the Experience Columbia organization.

Columbia Mayor Justin McKenzie, Main Street Columbia, Inc. Executive Director Nik Ingram and Police Chief Michael Kelly spoke at the meeting.

Kelly also announced that the Columbia Police Department has a new tool to improve public safety.

It’s a smartphone app called, Relay: Neighborhood Safety and it allows residents to send non-emergency information directly to patrol officers.

“It’s for non-emergencies, suspicious-type stuff,” Kelly said. “We always want people to call 911 in case of emergencies, but we’re creating another avenue for people just to be able to talk to us.”

“We’re announcing it now to our downtown businesses, so they can go ahead and get it on their smartphones,” said Kelly. “Our officers are going through some training and we look forward to pushing it out in the coming weeks.”

Dates for specific events, traffic issues and procedures for preventing the spread of the coronavirus were among the topics discussed.

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