Community service and compassion keystones of new Columbus Police changes

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — There are some big changes on the horizon for the Columbus Division of Police.

On Monday, Interim Police Chief Thomas Quinlan said the structural changes are a reflection of the division’s new mission statement regarding community service and compassion.

The restructuring will create a new community services subdivision and will bring back the disbanded vice unit, but in a different form.

Quinlan said the division has adopted a new mission statement and a new set of core values which includes compassion.

The changes also include the creation of a PACT team, which stands for Police And Community Together. The team will replace the old vice unit, but will be closely supervised and more community focused, offering resources and compassion to human trafficking victims.

The vice unit was disbanded in March of this year following a number controversial cases involving vice officers.

Other changes outlined by Quinlan include adding a public corruption task force officer assigned directly to the chief and expanding the role of youth services officers.

Quinlan said the changes are necessary.

“The residents and the community, what they want from what their expectations and demands are from the police service that we provide changes,” Quinlan said. “We cannot afford as a law enforcement agency to maintain status quo. We have to change based on what their expectations are.”

Columbus is currently conducting a nationwide search for the next full-time police chief. Quinlan is a candidate for the job.

Quinlan, who joined Columbus Police in 1989, was named interim chief in January of this year following the retirement of Chief Kim Jacobs.

Even though the future of the department’s leadership is undecided, Quinlan said he has no hesitation making these changes because it is what the community wants and deserves.

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