Mayor Ginther Rolls Out Anti-Violence Plan
Mayor Andrew J. Ginther,
along with Councilmember Mitchell J. Brown and other city and community
leaders, announced new and expanded programs to address increased violence in
Columbus since the beginning of the pandemic and that has continued in the new
“The causes of violence are
many, and there is not one single solution,” said Mayor Ginther. “But we are
committed to doing everything we can to end the violence, to try new community-
and public-health based strategies to prevent violence and to expand programs
we know are working.”
“Our community has seen too
much senseless violence over the past 14 months,” said Councilmember Brown. “We
must think innovatively about addressing violence in our community with the
understanding that law enforcement cannot be the sole solution to this problem.
We must come together, wrap our arms around these young people, and persuade
them to take the safer path forward.”
Mayor Ginther announced the
following new programs:
- Growing U.P.: an initiative that provides
comprehensive education, development and employment that is focused on young
men from the Linden community who need stable jobs so they can raise a family
and contribute to the community. The program will be managed by the New Salem
Community Development Corporation and consists of recruitment of life coaching,
education, soft skill development, employment and mentoring from the Men of
Linden. We anticipate reaching 30 young men through a pilot and will expand this
program over the next couple of years to serve even more.
- End the Violence: Through crisis management,
intervention and other activities that assist youth and young adults, End the
Violence will provide continuity and connection to supportive services,
information and supplies to reduce the risk of violence, as well as the spread
and exposure of COVID-19 in our opportunity neighborhoods. Approximately 80
young people will be served by this initiative.
- Call for suburban mayors and city managers to work
with county judges to find diversion programs that work for our youth.
In addition, Mayor Ginther
laid out expansions to proven programs already in existence:
- ReRoute – micro-interventions for at-risk young people
and their families with a coordinated response from Columbus Division of
Police, Columbus Public Health and Recreation and Parks. This program reaches
out to at-risk youth and their families to provide services to address housing
and food insecurity, education issues, grief counseling and much more and has
so far impacted 46 young people. Mayor Ginther is doubling the number of
interventionists and social workers to work in conjunction with
interventionists funded by the city at the Columbus Urban League and Community
for New Direction to expand this work citywide.
- Safe Streets: bike patrol through CPD will expand to
include first shift in addition to second shift, and run from spring through
fall instead of just summer. The focus will be on proactive community
- Safe Neighborhoods: a collaborative effort between
Public Safety and the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas that focuses on
violent offenders who are on probation and at risk to re-offend, who are offered
significant social services to provide an alternative plan from one of crime
and violence. The program – developed by renowned criminologist David Kennedy –
will leverage the individual model into a group model and will be housed at
three to-be-named churches in different neighborhoods.
Mayor Ginther emphasized that
the city will be nimble in responding to the causes of violent crime, adding
new programs and expanding others that are proven to make a difference.