Neighborhood Safety Strategy

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Mayor Andrew J. Ginther
City Hall 2nd Floor
90 West Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215
Office : 614-645-7671
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Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety Strategy

The City of Columbus has invested in innovative programs and is working with partners to build stronger and safer neighborhoods through a broad-based approach involving local law enforcement, public health, recreation and parks, neighborhoods, businesses, community leaders and residents. This comprehensive strategy is working to reduce violent crime in our community.

**Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety Strategy 2018 Report to the Community

Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety StrategyInitiatives:

Safe Streets

Building off the successful 2017 Linden Safe Streets initiative, Safe Streets was expanded in 2018 to include additional bike patrols. In 2018, the Safe Streets initiative began operating in the Linden, Hilltop and South Side areas in May and concluded their operations at the end of August. All three uniformed Safe Streets teams concentrated on community engagement as the foundation for all enforcement activity to ensure objectives are community driven. The Safe Streets program coordinated a collaborative program working with other City departments, including Code Enforcement, the Solid Waste Inspector, the City Attorney’s office, members of the Environmental Court, and community leaders to address quality of life issues at a street level for residents of the Linden, Hilltop and South Side communities. This collaborative was then expanded to the Hilltop area and included an initiative to identify areas of illegal dumping, pursue the offenders and clean up the areas

The statistics compiled for the Safe Streets program showed a significant reduction in violent crime and property crimes in several areas where Safe Streets officers were operating. Additionally, the program recorded over 8,300 citizen contacts, 151 community meetings attended, and 103 illegal firearms that were seized.

Safe Neighborhoods

To break the cycle of violent crime in Columbus neighborhoods, the Safe Neighborhoods program is a focused deterrence program in partnership with Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

Crisis Intervention Training

To better respond to people in crisis, the City of Columbus will have 50 percent of all frontline, community-facing police officers receive Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) by the end of 2020. Currently, every new recruit receives this training. Nine CIT classes have been conducted this year. A tenth (and final class for 2018) will be held in December. Columbus has also signed onto the One Mind Campaign to improve police response to persons affected by mental illness.

Community, Action, Resilience and Empowerment

The CARE Coalition provides direct outreach to residents impacted by gun violence and other traumatic experiences to help connect them to services and build resiliency in families and neighborhoods. 

Neighborhood Crisis Response

Coordinated multi-departmental responses strengthen neighborhoods by coordinating city resources that create physical deterrents to crime such as streetlights in alleys, nuisance code issues, housing stabilization and after-school programming.

Violent Crime Review Group

Led by Columbus Public Health, the Violent Crime Review Group connects and brings together eight City of Columbus departments in a coordinated effort to increase communications and share data that will help the city develop neighborhood specific strategies to reduce violence. The Violent Crime Review Group is working to lower homicide rates through a focused, multi-departmental review of and rapid response to violent crimes.

Neighborhood Safety Committees

Led by local Community Liaison Officers, the Neighborhood Safety Committees include block watch volunteers and community leaders who review information from the Violent Crime Review Group and give real-time feedback on our neighborhood intervention strategies.

Columbus Community Safety Advisory Commission

This 17-member Commission is tasked with ensuring that Columbus has the best training, policies and procedures to protect and serve the entire community. The Commission recommended an objective, independent consultant to support their work, Matrix Consulting Group. On November 14, Matrix Consulting Group updated Executive Staff on their status and progress, as well as the planned community survey and meetings being scheduled.

Click here for more information about the Commission. 

Applications for Purpose, Pride and Success (APPS)

The mission of the Applications for Purpose, Pride and Success (APPS) program is to reduce crime and violence by increasing protective factors in the lives of Columbus youth and young adults (ages 14-23) through proven prevention and intervention strategies. The initiative’s prevention strategies include offering safe and constructive alternatives to violence while youth development professionals provide mentorship through enrichment activities at four community recreation centers.

APPS Neighborhood Violence Intervention Program (NVI)

Through street-level violence interruption and conflict mediation by trained Violence Intervention workers, and neighborhood based services, the APPS Neighborhood Violence Intervention Program (NVI) program is focused on building relationships with proven high-risk youth - or known violent offenders - in order to guide them away from violence and toward positive alternatives, and to restore a sense of safety and improve the future outlook for the focus communities.

Through pooled intelligence with law enforcement and community partners, the APPS NVI team hopes to identify the top riskiest youth in the most violent neighborhood gangs. As a result, APPS NVI mentoring efforts will be focused on the young people widely recognized to be the individual(s) driving the violence within the APPS designated neighborhoods. 

Through November 2018, the APPS Neighborhood Violence Intervention program, defused 67 potentially violent incidents. In addition, the NVI team were involved with 42 interventions after gang-related incidents. Throughout the year, NVI staff work to remain in contact with those at-risk to help prevent further incidents. In 2018, APPS professionals enrolled 148 young people, ages 14 to 23, in their case management system.

APPS Workforce Development Program

During the summer of 2018, the APPS program hired 114 young people between the ages of 14-23 from areas that have a disproportionate number of barriers to success.  These young people participated in nine weekly training sessions that included topics, among others, Cultural Diversity, CPR First Aid and Financial Literacy while working in different sections of City Departments.  

Participants would then apply their new skills are a variety of jobs throughout the city gaining valuable on-the-job-training as well as workforce experience. Job coaches performed weekly work site visits to provide support and guidance to insure success for our young people.

The impact of the training sessions and job coaches was measured through the use of program pre- and post-test data that revealed that 100% of participants improved their work force readiness knowledge and behaviors.  

APPS Cap City Nights

APPS hosted six Cap City Nights Festivals in 2018. The summer festivals are a prevention strategy that aims to foster safe and healthy community relationships by bringing together neighborhood residents, worshipers, service providers, and business owners.

Festival activities encourage relationship building among families and neighbors, thereby strengthening community ties and empowering the community to work together to reduce violence while creating a platform of trust to produce positive change. Festivals are themed, highlighted with free food, live entertainment and a host of games and activities for the entire family and all food and activities are free.

As a part of a new outreach strategy into the Wedgwood neighborhood, an additional festival was added to the schedule.

The Wedgewood Community Cap City Nights Festival was sponsored by Columbus City Council and members of the APPS team worked closely with the community’s elders to create a program that was not only welcoming, but honored the culture and traditions of the Somali Community.

Clean Neighborhoods

Illegal dumping is a persistent problem with extensive impact on Columbus neighborhoods. This wide-ranging plan -- which is focused on prevention, enforcement and education -- includes additional ground crews and new equipment to assist in alley cleanups, expanded neighborhood safety cameras in select alleys, additional trail cameras, and the Keep Columbus Beautiful End Littering Initiative.

One Linden Community Plan

Developed by the Department of Neighborhoods in partnership with the Neighborhood Design Center and The Ohio State University, this plan addresses both the physical challenges facing Linden -- like transportation, housing and retail -- and the social considerations such as education, workforce, health and safety.

Columbus and Franklin County Addiction Plan 

Like cities all across the country, Columbus is in the midst of an opiate epidemic. Columbus Public Health is working with a cross-section of community partners on the Columbus and Franklin County Addiction Plan to help those who are already addicted and to prevent people from becoming addicted in the first place. Efforts to address this crisis include drug take-back events, an opiate surge notification system, alcohol and drug services counseling, education and prevention, community naloxone trainings, fentanyl test strips, and the comprehensive harm reduction program Safe Point at Equitas Health. To supplement this work, the Columbus Division of Fire has expanded the Rapid Response Emergency Addiction Crisis Team, pairing medics and social work resources to respond after an overdose and connect that person with immediate treatment and additional resources that may be keeping them from successfully completing treatment.