COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther on Thursday announced a voluntary curfew for businesses in the Short North this weekend after recent shootings in the area.
Starting at midnight Friday, city leaders are asking bars and other businesses to close at midnight. The curfew will apply on the weekends and will be in place for “however long it takes,” according to Ginther.
Additionally, Columbus Division of Police Chief Elaine Bryant announced that more officers will be patrolling the area from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. Those between the ages of 13 and 17 will not be permitted in the area between the hours of midnight and 4:30 a.m.
"You will see officers in cruisers, on bikes and on foot. Along with additional officers, extra lights and cameras will be placed in key areas," Bryant said.
Street parking will not be allowed on High Street between East Goodale Street to 5th Avenue from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. and rideshare vehicles will only be able to use the curb lane and COTA bus stops to stop, pick up and drop off passengers.
Ginther also plans to issue an executive order mandating that food trucks cease operations at midnight. The mayor said the measures were made to disrupt “an clear and emerging pattern of violence that is unacceptable.”
The announcement made by city leaders comes after Columbus police investigated two shootings in the area in the past two weeks. One of them left a 21-year-old man dead and another injured ten people.
City Council President Shannon Hardin said that the recent violence is a “terrible stain on our city.”
“We have to rebuild those bridges of trust to keep us all safe. We need to move together against the few who choose violence,” Hardin said.
Earlier this week, Columbus City Council voted to give $500,000 to two organizations in hopes of curbing violence in the area.
The $500,000 will go to the Short North Alliance and Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District to use toward safety and security. The groups received the same funding last year and used it toward safety initiatives and special duty officers to patrol the area.
On Tuesday, Ginther announced that $20.1 million in city funding will go toward summer programming for children and teenagers.
The programs are focused on violence prevention, training and employment opportunities and academic enrichment. They are designed to help keep young people from being involved in crimes, keep them engaged and learn and build upon new skills.