COLUMBUS, Ohio — During a 24-hour period this week, there were five shootings and three homicides in the city of Columbus.
As dozens of officers graduated from the police academy on Friday, Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant said that she hopes the increase in officers will help with the reduction in violent crime.
“We will have more officers on the street by this time next year than we have had in the entire existence of the division. That's huge to talk about it,” Bryant said.
As of Monday, Columbus reported 82 homicides so far this year - compared to last year's 72.
Bryant said right now, the Columbus Division of Police has a closure rate of more than 90%. Arrests have already been made in two of the three homicides.
Columbus police arrested Reko Hickson, 43, Thursday and charged him with burglary after a brief standoff with Columbus police SWAT as they were attempting to serve a search warrant. He was later charged with murder for the shooting death of 55-year-old Vijayakumar Nair on Friday.
Police also arrested 25-year-old Lok Nath Acharya and charged him with a count of reckless homicide after the fatal shooting of 32-year-old Madan Thapa in north Columbus on Wednesday.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther told 10TV that even one homicide is too many.
"This is why we're fighting so hard to get guns off the street, to invest in prevention and intervention, but also enforcement."
Ginther said summer safety initiatives are working, pointing to events like Red White & Boom and Columbus Pride.
“Our officers are doing an incredible job with thousands of positive community contacts, the number of felony arrests, guns that have been seized,” said Ginther.