Mayor Ginther Unveils Safety Spending in Proposed 2023 Operating Budget
Mayor Andrew J.
Ginther today announced that more than $705 million will be allocated for
neighborhood safety in his proposed 2023 Operating Budget. This includes
funding for three new recruit classes in both Police and Fire – adding up to
170 new police officers plus 25 lateral transfers, and 125 new firefighters to
the city’s safety forces – creating an Office of Violence Prevention, and
expanded staffing support for several departments and divisions working to
promote public safety.
“This budget makes
possible unprecedented investments in neighborhood safety,” said Mayor Ginther.
“Our comprehensive approach is working, but even a single homicide is one too
many. We continue to evaluate and expand our efforts to fight violent crime while
never being daunted by the scale or difficulty of the task at hand. We will not
rest until Columbus is the safest big city in the country.”
Central to the
city’s comprehensive crime reduction strategy is the coordination of activities
and programming across numerous departments and community organizations. To
further advance this wide-ranging endeavor, as well as implement a key
recommendation from the Columbus Board of Health, which has been tasked with
addressing gun violence as a public health crisis, the Office of Violence
Prevention will be created and housed within the Mayor’s Office to streamline
and strengthen safety efforts throughout Columbus.
safety strategies will be funded through the operating budget for Public Safety
as well as other city departments. Key initiatives include:
additional staff for the Office of the Inspector General for the Division of
Police as well as the city’s Crime Lab, Impound Lot and Public Records Unit.
the successful Right Response Unit, which imbeds social workers and mental
health professionals in 9-1-1 dispatch to connect callers with the right
resources within the right amount of time – enabling officers to focus more of
their time on fighting violent crime.
RREACT (Rapid Response Emergency Addiction Crisis Team), a first-of-its-kind
initiative that provides follow-up services for opiate overdose patients in
SPARC (Specialized Program Assessing Resource Connectivity), which cares for
aging and medically fragile residents as well as those whose lives are impacted
by homelessness, mental health issues and substance abuse.
the city’s Safe Streets initiative in which uniformed bike officers address neighborhood
crime and concerns while improving community-police relations.
Mobile Crisis Response to broaden de-escalation tactics for situations
involving individuals experiencing a mental health emergency or substance abuse
investments in young people, including through TAPS (Teens and Police Service)
– a program that connects youth with police mentors – and extensive programming
in the city’s Recreation and Parks Department.
Mayor Ginther will unveil
his proposed 2023 General Fund budget on Thursday, November 10.