Yesterday Mayor Andrew Ginther held a special press conference concerning a comprehensive neighborhood safety strategy. Many have been asking what Columbus’ plans to do about violence/police relations. The following are some of the highlights of the plan:
Key initiatives announced by Mayor Ginther:
- Expanding the city’s successful Safe Streets bike patrol to additional opportunity neighborhoods, including expanding foot patrol.
- Hiring a program manager and four caseworkers for the Community, Action, Resilience and Empowerment (CARE) Coalition to address the ripple effect violent crime has on a neighborhood.
- Expanding the city’s efforts to solve gang and drug related homicides by directing more officers to investigate unsolved crimes.
- Filling two new police recruits classes, each with 35 recruits.
- More than $500,000 in new initiatives to combat opiate addiction in support of the Franklin County Opiate Action Plan.
- Forming the Violent Crime Review Group to address the city’s unacceptable homicide rate through a focused, multi-departmental review of and response to violent crimes.
- Establishing a new cross-departmental Neighborhood Crisis Response to strengthen neighborhoods by coordinating city resources to create physical deterrents to crime.
- Establishing Neighborhood Safety Committees led by the local Community Liaison Officers and made up of block watch volunteers and community leaders to review information from the Violent Crimes Review Group and give real-time feedback on Columbus neighborhood intervention strategies.
- Creating a Community Safety Advisory Committee to ensure Columbus has the best training, policies and procedures to protect and serve the entire community, as well as seeking an objective, independent consultant to support this work.