Columbus Public Safety Awarded $1 Million for Recruitment

Published on July 25, 2023

City Buildings in Downtown Columbus

The City of Columbus Department of Public Safety has been awarded a $1 million grant from the State of Ohio for a recruiting and marketing program to attract first responders. The grant is part of the Ohio Department of Public Safety Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention, and Resilience program.

“My goal is to have more police officers and firefighters on the streets by the end of 2024 than ever before, and this grant will help with those efforts,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “Just as important, it will help us diversify our safety forces to better reflect the residents they serve.”

The Columbus Department of Public Safety is reevaluating the City’s recruitment efforts and will implement near-term changes to increase the number of applicants and increase the diversity of incoming classes. In addition to developing new marketing strategies, the City will expand recruiting staff, develop a recruit mentor program, and better utilize technology to ensure applicants successfully navigate the selection process and are prepared to graduate from their respective training academies. 

“I am excited about the possibilities this grant allows us,” said Public Safety Director Kate McSweeney-Pishotti. “Our divisions of police and fire are elite, and this grant will allow us to attract the best and brightest police officers, firefighters and EMTs to help keep Columbus neighborhoods safe.”

The grant award comes at a time when the City of Columbus is working to hire a record number of police officers and firefighters, and when fewer individuals are pursuing a career in public safety. The City of Columbus will seat three police and fire classes this year, including a police recruit class of 48 officers in August. The most recent class of fire recruits is among the most diverse in history, with more than half of the class being female or minorities. Three additional police and fire classes are planned in 2024.

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