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Columbus Leaders Announce New Neighborhood Safety Initiatives

Columbus mayor Andrew Ginther.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins
Associated Press

Columbus city leaders are working to improve neighborhood safety through several programs.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther says a plan to adopt the gunfire detection system ShotSpotteris just one initiative. The program - which has previously been tested in Cincinnati- will launch in the Hilltop, South Side and Linden.

The city is also identifying streets for additional lighting and reducing tree shade.

“Another area of focus will be pocket parks that will provide a place where people can experience a sense of community and the opportunity to enjoy recreational activities in a safe, common area across our neighborhoods,” Ginther says.

Ginther also announced a neighborhood safety committee will be formed to specifically address the 43205 zip code, which contains the city’s east side.

Columbus Health Commissioner Mysheika Roberts, who heads the city's Violent Crime Review Group, says a rapid homicide notification system piloted earlier this year has been activated four times due to homicides.

“The Violent Crime Review Group is working to reduce Columbus homicides by helping those impacted by trauma and looking at crime in new and innovative ways,” Roberts says.

The group began its work earlier this year in the pilot neighborhood Linden, “which was chosen because of its high homicide rates,” she says.

Last week, the Columbus Community Safety Advisory Commissionformed a police hiring sub-committee to look into officer recruitment.

“To delve into the police recruiting unit, civil service, and safety directors’ processes,” says commission chair Janet Jackson. “In the coming months, we will delve into diversity recruitment, learning from the fantastic unit Chief Jacobs has reformed, as well as reviewing the draft 10-year plan to double diversity in police and fire.”

Ginther announced the formation of the 17-member commission in March. 

Adora Namigadde was a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU News in February 2017. A Michigan native, she graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French.