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City of Columbus Announces Federal Partnership To Fight Gun Violence

Mayor Andrew Ginther speaks at a press conference announcing a partnership with local and federal agencies to fight gun violence.
Michael Lee
Mayor Andrew Ginther speaks at a press conference announcing a partnership with local and federal agencies to fight gun violence.

The City of Columbus announced Thursday it will work with local and federal agencies to form a partnership to prevent gun violence.

The city will work with the Columbus Division of Police, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Ohio and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to create a Crime Gun Intelligence Center. It's a partnership that hopes to prevent and analyze gun-related crimes, and prosecute those who commit them.

Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant said the partnership will allow the city to go after the worst offenders of gun violence.

"To those of you that are driving this crime with no regard for human life, I want to make myself very clear. We do not accept and we will not tolerate this senseless violence," She said.

Mayor Andrew Ginther said there have been 98 gun deaths and almost 650 gun-related injuries this year. He says the partnership aims to prevent even more and hold people accountable.

"The effects of this violence are devastating. They're widespread. They span generations. Just as the challenges before us are complex and multifaceted, so are the solutions," Ginther said.

The federal government and Department of Justice will fund the partnership, as well as provide equipment for officers and agents in the task force. ATF special agent in charge
Roland Herndon Jr. said CPD will deputize officers as ATF task force officers and will work with the agency's Columbus field office.

The partnership will also include analyzing ballistics to link shootings and firearms tracing to identify illegal firearms trafficking.

Brian Martinez, Deputy Criminal Chief of the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of Ohio, sent a warning to those who have committed or plan to commit gun-related crimes.

"There are no federal prisons in the state of Ohio. So that means you are going to be shipped somewhere far away from your family, and your friends, and those that you've surrounded yourself with, and you're going to be there a long time," he said.

Michael Lee joined WOSU in 2021, but was previously an intern at the station in 2018. He is a graduate from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism where he obtained his master's degree, and an alumnus of Ohio State University. Michael has previously worked as an intern at the Columbus Dispatch and most recently, the Chicago Sun-Times.