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Short North Alliance expands program to tackle crime

The Short North Alliance says they are doubling down on patrol officers in the late-night weekend hours.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A program in the Short North is expanding to combat the increase in crime the area has seen over the past year.

The Short North Alliance said they are doubling down on patrol officers in the late-night weekend hours in the district to expand on the Short North Crime Interdiction Program. 

The report results from 2022 showed that as late-night businesses and visitors increased, crime did as well.

The patrol officers on the streets during high traffic times intervened and responded to approximately 700 safety incidents last year.

"We really believe that having programs like this can be key and instrumental in helping to support a sense of safety for all and doubling down on those investments this year, and continuing to see those things that have resulted in great work is really our core focus,” said Betsy Pandora, the executive director of the Short North Alliance.

For every 10% in business gain, the report shows an additional 20% increase in crime, but the alliance believes that number would be closer to 30% without the program.

"We have a very fast response time with the special duty units. We're at most incidents once we see the run pop up on our CAD within 30 seconds to a minute and a half. So we have a very quick fast response time," said Lieutenant Joe Curmod. 

In addition to more patrol officers, Pandora said they are also growing their Short North Ambassador Program, with full and part-time community members trained in de-escalation.

“If you're somebody that works in our community, and you need a safe walk to your vehicle after your concluding your shift at night, you can call the Short North Ambassador team and they're available to help give you an escort," Pandora said.

Officers said anyone who sees something, should say something and report it to police right away.

“We are out there to keep citizens and visitors to the city safe as much as we can, when they're going to bars, restaurants, gallery hop, other activities in the short North art district, and the area's near their nationwide campus,” Curmod said.

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