COLUMBUS, Ohio — “We are relentless in our pursuit of a safer, more prosperous Columbus,” Mayor Andrew Ginther said on Monday.
Ginther said the number of homicides this year compared to 2021 is down 37%.
“We will not rest until we are the safest big city in America,” he said.
The city is crediting a number of programs for this. One being Columbus Violence Reduction, or CVR.
“It is proving to be true and effective here in Columbus,” Public Safety Director Robert Clark said.
Clark said the program is focused on intervening with the small percentage of those causing a large part of the city’s crime. Columbus has been molding this program, formerly known as “Group Violence Intervention,” over the last year. Clark said so far four interventions have been made.
“Of the four individuals who have recently received these custom notifications this summer, all have accepted follow-up services and linkage with community partners,” he said.
The city has also utilized its Right Response Unit over the past year, which focuses on mental health and crisis calls and getting the right people to respond to the right calls.
In the last year, RRU has fielded 1,300 calls. Of those, about 433 did not require a police response, which freed up 511 hours for officers to focus on crime in the city.
More than 25% of callers were connected to a local mental health provider. A dozen of the calls resulted in an arrest. The city said the arrests were not related to a mental health crisis.
Both Clark and Mayor Ginther say more work needs to be done, but Columbus is headed in the right direction.
“We will not accept the status quo,” Ginther said. “We will continue to implement reforms that put the right officers, the right resources in the right places at the right time in every neighborhood throughout our city.”