Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther proposes replacing an anti-crime summer initiative with increased bike and foot patrols in high-crime neighborhoods.
Ginther earlier this year rejected calls from local activists to end the Summer Safety Initiative. Ginther now says he'll ask for 2 million dollars in next year's budget for a neighborhood safety strategies fund to cover overtime costs for the patrols. Ginther will also seek 1.8 million for street lights, after-school programs and code-enforcement. The announcement comes as the city faces a homicide rate on pace to set a record this year. His strategy released Thursday includes a community review of the police division's training, policies and procedures.
Ginther says the commission will review existing research and recommendations of respected law enforcement and social justice experts to identify what will work for Columbus. He says he expects a clear, concrete plan that's achievable and measurable - and one that reflects the views of the community. Ginther says the city will look to build relationships with residents with the formation of a Violent Crime Review Group.
Ginther says the city must police differently and better align its health and safety initiatives. The mayor's 2018 budget proposal will be unveiled next week.