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After several violent crimes occurred in Jefferson City late last year, community members have called for more to be done to address criminal activity.

The Central Missouri Chapter of Empower Missouri has announced it will host listening sessions involving police officers and community members over the next two weeks.

The meetings will be held for all five wards represented on the Jefferson City Council.

The schedule is:

• Ward 5 — 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, The Linc Presidential Suite, 1299 Lafayette St.

• Ward 3 — 7 p.m. March 25, Capital Mall Community Room, 3600 Country Club Drive.

• Ward 2 — 7 p.m. March 26, Dorothy Pack Community Center, 1306 Edmonds St.

• Ward 1 — 6:30 p.m. March 27, Prison Brews Side Room, 305 Ash St.

• Ward 4 — 1 p.m. March 30, Capital Mall Community Room, 3600 Country Club Drive.

Jefferson City Council members have been invited to attend, as have the mayoral candidates and the city manager. Members of the Jefferson City Police Department will also be in attendance.

The ground rules for the event include:

• Attendees will be asked to answer five written questions anonymously, with the answers to be provided on a questionnaire that will be handed out as participants come into the ward meetings.

• The questions will be the same for each of the meetings.

• A box will be circulated during the course of the meeting so attendees may submit their answers to the questions.

• Residents attending the meeting may share comments or personal experiences.

• Comments will be limited to five minutes.

• The issues/points made will be recorded on white paper at the front of the room so all in attendance can see.

• At the beginning of the meeting, each attendee will be given three sticky dots. After the public comment period, the attendees will be allowed to “vote” their priority using the sticky dots. They may place all three dots on one point, one dot each on three points, or two dots on one point and one dot on another. The dots will be tallied to determine the priority of the issues.

The outcome of each meeting will be posted on the Empower Missouri website,, so the group can report back to attendees what was learned from these meetings.

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