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Columbus police to have presence at city parks this summer

New Police Chief Elaine Bryant announced the department has established a parks detail to run throughout the summer.
Credit: Scott Doelling / WBNS-10TV
File Photo - Columbus Police

The Columbus Division of Police will have more presence at some of the city's parks beginning today.

On Monday, Chief Elaine Bryant announced the department has established the Columbus Police Parks Detail to run throughout the summer.

Bryant says the detail will be made up of between 25-35 officers who will focus on patrolling and securing the city's parks and recreation centers.

According to police, these officers will be deployed on bikes into parks to provide high visibility to prevent crimes and also focus on engaging the community to improve relations.

Police said all of these officers are members of the Community Response Team and are not being pulled from patrol.

“After the long shutdown of COVID, our families want to get out and enjoy our parks and recreation centers,” said Bryant. “Our priority is making sure they do that without worry of the violence we’ve seen already this summer. It breaks my heart that we’ve lost young people in places where they should be free of worry and violence. This is not acceptable in our city.”

Initially, the detail will run from 2 to 10 p.m., but Bryant says those hours are flexible and could change.

Bryant did not say which parks would have detail, but she said police would be focusing on the parks that are of concern to them and those with large crowds.

Additionally, Bryant announced the creation of the chief duty officer detail which includes a commander working Friday-Sunday from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Bryant said the creation of the parks detail was an immediate need as more people are going to be outside as the nation is coming out of the pandemic.

"I want people to feel safe and to come enjoy the parks and be able to have fun and not be concerned," she said.

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