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Robin Davis
Director of Media Relations
614.645.2425
rcdavis@columbus.gov

Melanie Crabill
Communications Manager
614.645.5300
mjcrabill@columbus.gov

Media advisory
News Date: November 09, 2017

Mayor Andrew J. Ginther Unveils Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety Strategy

Today, Mayor Andrew J. Ginther announced his Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety Strategy developed with community feedback, insights from law enforcement professionals and data-driven, proven best practices from other cities. Mayor Ginther’s proposed 2018 Operating Budget includes funding priorities for several initiatives outlined today.

“We face three great safety challenges in Columbus today: the unacceptable spike in homicides, the rise of the opiate addiction crisis; and the strained relationships between our community and the police,” said Mayor Ginther. “This Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety Strategy reflects our commitment to begin new initiatives to address crime differently, while continuing to invest in proven safety strategies in Columbus.”

Today’s announcement follows last week’s overview of numerous administration programs started over the past year that have been successful and will be continued or expanded. 

New and expanded neighborhood safety strategies will be funded in part through a new $2 million neighborhood safety strategies fund in the 2018 budget. This $2 million fund will allow the Columbus Division of Police to effectively implement these programs while maintaining the necessary patrols for Columbus.

Key initiatives announced by Mayor Ginther today:

  • 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.

“I am deeply disturbed by the spike in homicides Columbus has experienced this year,” said Mayor Ginther. “We will tackle these safety challenges through new approaches to policing--including approaches that empower neighborhoods--investing in our police officers, and by bringing the full resources of our city to bear for communities struggling with spikes in violent crime.”

Mayor Ginther will release the full proposed 2018 General Fund budget on November 14, which will outline additional priorities and areas of focus for the Ginther Administration.