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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.