City Plans To Crack Down On Drugs, Gangs During Summer Community Crime Initiative

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UPDATED: Wednesday May 28, 2014 6:35 PM

Teresa Wilson says the only time she feels safe walking in her neighborhood off Sullivant Avenue is during the day.  That’s despite the fact there's a neighborhood crime camera watching.

"They need to step up their game in terms of putting proper lighting out here at evening time.  That's when all us females are scared to come out," Wilson says.

She says police told her that the camera doesn't see well at night because of a lack of street lights nearby.  She says she learned of the poor lighting after her car was hit from behind and the driver took off.

"They told me they (saw) the car, but they couldn't see the license plate because of the lighting.  It's not going help if they don't have the proper lighting to see what's going on and who it really is," explains Wilson.

Inside N & N supermarket, Awad Itayyem says the neighborhood crime camera has cut down on loiterers in his parking lot, as well as trouble makers, who he says used to come to his store.

Mayor Coleman says it's going to take more than technology to fight crime in the city.  He wants people to call, and email police about crime in their neighborhoods.  He says no one should be afraid to talk to police because of a" no snitch rule".

"They shouldn't be. We will protect them for it.  That's all a myth", Coleman says.

As for Teresa Wilson, she says prostitution is still a problem on her street despite the neighborhood crime cameras.  She argues unless better lighting is installed, these cameras aren't making her feel safe.

"That's not fair to us", she says.

Under the Summer Initiative, Columbus Police will take about 70 officers off patrol and move them into specialized units to concentrate on gun violence, gangs, and drug crimes.  Others will focus on people with outstanding warrants, and truants.

The city says it will also enforce its curfew.  That means if you're 12-years-old or younger, you must be home one hour after sunset. Teenagers must be home by midnight.

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