As Police Chief, I would like to welcome you to the City of Columbia as well as introduce you to the inner workings of the Columbia Police Department.  Columbia has enjoyed a relatively low crime rate, which I directly relate to our well-trained, professional police officers, along with community involvement and support.


The CPD employs nineteen sworn police officers.  The department has a Chief of Police and Deputy Chief of Police who oversee day-to-day operations of the department. The department has four patrol squads and three detectives.  The department participates in three regional tasks force groups by supplying a full-time officer to each task force.  The aforementioned task force groups are the Metro East Auto Theft Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Interdiction Task Force and the Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois (MEGSI) which is an undercover drug task force group with the Illinois State Police. 


The CPD employs five full-time telecommunicators who staff one of two 911 call centers in Monroe County, which operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Telecommunicators are responsible for answering calls for service and dispatching all emergency units in the city, fire district, and ambulance district.  Our telecommunicators are trained and certified in emergency medical dispatching, emergency police dispatching and emergency fire dispatching which enables us to assist with scene management prior to first responder arrival.  The communications center is equipped with two identical workstations, which allows telecommunicators to assist one another during emergencies.  During 2019, our communications call center received a total of 14,423 calls for service. 


The CPD employs two record clerks as well as an administrative assistant, who play a major role in the police department’s operations.  A few of the daily tasks they are responsible for are maintaining files, forwarding paperwork to the FBI and Illinois State Police, entering traffic stop data sheets in accordance with state law, digitalizing criminal records, and processing departmental invoices.


“The Mission of the Columbia Police Department, in cooperation with our community, is to protect life and property, and enhance the quality of life for all our citizens.”  I encourage you to become involved in our community, look out for your fellow citizens and continue to help make Columbia a safe and wonderful place to live.  Call us at 281-5151 with any questions or concerns that you may have.

Chief Jerald D. Paul