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Columbus to boost public safety efforts this summer with increased police presence and surveillance towers

Raymond Wambsgans

Columbus is ramping up public safety efforts this summer in parks and neighborhoods across the city to curb violent crimes and illegal activity.

The city will install new light and camera towers across 22 communities. It will also staff up to 40 additional police officers in parks and neighborhoods to assist with patrols.

That additional staffing will also be deployed Friday through Sunday during what the city called 'key activity hours'. Police Chief Elaine Bryant detailed the 'Project Moonlight' initiative at a press conference Thursday in Westgate.

“One lieutenant, five sergeants and 32 officers working in teams across the city," Bryant said. "These bike officers will be in every zone, both engaging in community and conducting enforcement activity.”

Bryant said that a similar initiative last year, 'Safe Streets', led to 70 felony arrests, seized 47 firearms and recovered seven stolen vehicles.

Officers will be paid double for overtime hours between 4:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. on weekends.

Columbus Police will launch the initiative this Sunday and it will end on Labor Day.

Tyler Thompson was a reporter and on-air host for 89.7 NPR News. Thompson, originally from northeast Ohio, has spent the last three years working as a Morning Edition host and reporter at NPR member station KDLG Public Radio and reporter at the Bristol Bay Times Newspaper in Dillingham, Alaska.