Mayor Ginther Unveils Safety Spending in 2022 Operating Budget
Mayor Andrew J.
Ginther today announced that more than $660 million will be allocated to the
Department of Public Safety in his proposed 2022 Operating Budget. This
includes funding for three police and three fire recruit classes, adding a
total of 170 new police officers and 125 new firefighters in the coming year.
“Over the past year,
we have seen an increase in separations from our sworn safety forces,
particularly from the Columbus Division of Police,” said Mayor Ginther. “My
proposed operating budget includes funding for three new recruit classes to
keep staffing at current levels. The officers will be trained extensively in
community policing, which is crucial to bridging the divide between the
community and the police while addressing the current spike in crime.”
Director Robert Clark also outlined his vision for safety initiatives to
address crime and build back trust with the community. His new version of the
Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety Strategy was developed with community
feedback, insights from law enforcement professionals and data-driven, proven
best practices from other cities.
“My 35 years in law
enforcement has made clear we cannot arrest our way out of these problems,”
Director Clark added. “We have to find new ways to do old things. That means community
engagement, resident involvement and innovative programming that promote
health, healing and restoration.”
New and expanded neighborhood
safety strategies will be funded in part through the operating budget for
Public Safety as well as other city departments involved in the comprehensive
announced today include:
the Alternative Response Program, which imbeds social workers and mental health
professionals in 9-1-1 dispatch to facilitate more precise and robust emergency
the city’s successful Safe Streets bike patrol to additional neighborhoods.
the city’s RREACT (Rapid Response Emergency Addiction Crisis Team) efforts, a
first-of-its-kind initiative that provides follow-up services for opiate
TAPS (Teens and Police Service), a program that connects youth with police
the Police Athletic League to promote healthy habits and physical activity
while establishing trusting bonds between youth and public safety personnel.
cross-departmental responses to neighborhoods by coordinating city resources to
create physical deterrents to crime.
investments in GVI (Group Violence Intervention) to advance strategies and
resources that reduce violent crime.
with city departments and outside partners such as the Columbus Urban League
for youth interventions, including PEP (Parent Enrichment Program), a collaboration
with Columbus Urban League and Franklin County Municipal Courts to provide
enrichment classes to families who have children on the cusp of entering the
criminal justice system.
the work of the CARE
Coalition and VOICE (Violence, Outreach, Intervention and Community
Engagement), a hospital-based intervention program for victims of violent
investments in young people through My Brother’s Keeper as well as extensive
programming in the city’s Recreation and Parks Department.
“Our approaches to
reducing crime in our city must also address the root causes of crime,
including poverty, housing, food insecurity and joblessness,” said Mayor
Ginther. “We will tackle these safety challenges by working with departments, partners
and residents throughout all our neighborhoods. Everyone has a role to play in building
a safer, more resilient community.”
Mayor Ginther will unveil
his proposed 2022 General Fund budget next Monday, November 15.