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Council approves $550,000 to rent more portable security cameras, lights at Columbus parks

This is the second straight year council has passed a measure such as this.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus City Council approved Monday night to spend $550,000 on more temporary lights and security camera systems to place in the city's parks.

According to the ordinance unanimously passed by council, the Columbus Division of Police identified 25 initial locations where the portable lights and cameras can go.

This is the second straight year council has passed a measure such as this.
After several shootings at parks across Columbus last year, some of which were fatal, council approved funding for 25 cameras. The cameras are mobile and can be moved as needed.

The city moved some cameras this weekend to the Short North after two straight weekends of violence in the district.

"It's about making sure that we put the resources where they are needed at the appropriate time and we will continue to do that,” said Council President Shannon Hardin.

During Monday night's meeting, Hardin said he expects the Short North safety measures to end within a couple of weeks when the city sees the area becoming a safer place. The city asked bars and businesses in the Short North to close at midnight. Meanwhile, council ordained an executive order signed by Mayor Ginther last week, shutting down food truck vendors at 11:59 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

"We had seen two weekends in a row, one weekend when we had ten people shot, the next weekend where we had one person murdered, so when we think about what's good for business, having murders happen in a community is also not good for business,” Hardin said.

Hardin said the city plans on implementing more safety measures across the city and that the concern isn't only in the Short North.

"It is a false choice to say because we enforce in the short north that we can't enforce in other neighborhoods. It is a false choice to say that we can't all be safe,” Hardin said.

The Short North: A complex history with art, development and crime

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