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Columbus Police Department
Selvain McQueen(Chief of Police)
1501 Main St,
Columbus, MS, 39701
(662)244-3528
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The city of Columbus, also called "Possum Town" encompasses the following counties: Lowndes. Columbus's government is comprised of the Mayor, who is currently Robert Smith (D).

Columbus encompasses land area: 21.4 sq mi (55.5 km2), water area: 0.9 sq mi (2.3 km2). The elevation is 217 ft (66 m) above sea level. This equates to a population density of 1,211.5/sq mi (467.7/km2). The local time zone is CST (UTC-6).

Zip codes in Columbus include 39701-39705, 39710. Local area codes are 662. The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code for the city is 28-15380, which is used in computer filings when non-government agencies and contractors fulfill government contracts. Additional information and the official website of the city is found at http://www.columbusms.org/.

Columbus is a city in Lowndes County, Mississippi that lies above the Tombigbee River. It is approximately 146 miles (235 km) northeast of Jackson, 92 miles (148 km) north of Meridian, 63 miles (101 km) south of Tupelo, 60 miles (97 km) northwest of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and 120 miles (193 km) west of Birmingham, Alabama. The population was 25,944 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Lowndes County and the principal city of the Columbus Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of the larger Columbus-West Point Combined Statistical Area. Columbus is also part of the area of northeast Mississippi called The Golden Triangle, consisting of Columbus, West Point and Starkville, in the counties of Lowndes, Clay and Oktibbeha.

The first record of the site of Columbus in Western history is found in the annals of the explorer Hernando de Soto, who is reputed to have crossed the nearby Tombigbee River on his search for El Dorado. However, the site does not enter the main continuity of American history until December 1810, when John Pitchlynn, the U.S. interpreter for the Choctaw Nation, had moved to Plymouth Bluff, where he built a home, established a farm and transacted Choctaw Agency business.

Columbus was founded in 1821. Before its incorporation, the town site was referred to informally as Possum Town, a name which was given by the local Native Americans. The name Possum Town remains the town's nickname among locals. Columbus's existence is owed to the failure of a flooded settlement across the river, Plymouth, which was established in 1817. The Plymouth Bluff (above the ruined settlement) is today an environmental center for Mississippi University for Women. The survivors of the flood moved to a site occupied by Thomas Moore and Dr. Gideon Lincecum. Silas McBee suggested the name Columbus; in return, a small local creek bears McBee's name.


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