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Columbus City Council members to get police security at meetings, public events and personal outings

Columbus City Hall
Derek Jensen
Wikimedia Commons

Columbus City Council members will now have three Columbus Division of Police officers assigned for security detail.

All seven city council members, and eventually the two new members entering council after the upcoming election, will now be personally protected by three full-time Columbus Police officers. The council members join Mayor Andrew Ginther and Police Chief Elaine Bryant as the city officials assigned this protection.

The police detail will be assigned to protect council members at public events and meetings and sometimes at outings in their personal lives at the discretion of the council members.

This police detail is expected to cost over $315,000, which is the equivalent of the three officers' salaries.

Council spokesperson Nya Hairston said in an email that this is not a new police unit and this plan has been in the works for over a year, but logistical concerns delayed the police detail until now. She did not say whether there were any specific safety concerns from council members.

Hairston said protection for elected officials including council members is not uncommon in other U.S. cities.

Council President Shannon Hardin was not available to be interviewed before deadline.

George Shillcock is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. He joined the WOSU newsroom in April 2023 following three years as a reporter in Iowa with the USA Today Network.