When Chief Kim Jacobs retires in February, Columbus mayor Andrew Ginther says he plans to conduct a national search for the next person to lead the Columbus Division of Police.
Columbus Civil Service Commission rules were changed in 2017 to allow for outside candidates to be eligible for the job. Traditionally, only internal candidates have been considered.
“The people of Columbus and our police officers deserve the very best person to fill this role, whether that person comes from inside or outside the division.,” said Mayor Ginther.
Details on how the search will be conducted have not been released, but Ginther says he plans to use input from the people of Columbus
“Like you, I have high expectations for the next chief of police. I am looking for a change agent who will pursue innovation and excellence in policing, someone who will use the recommendations of the resident-led Safety Advisory Commission as a roadmap to guide the Division,” said Ginther. “I am looking for someone committed to increasing diversity among police officers, aligning how we police with community expectations, and approaching this position as an opportunity to serve and protect every person in every neighborhood.”
Ginther says he expects to release more about the search in the coming weeks.
The Safe Streets Initiative was started by mayor Ginther and executed by chief Jacobs and the police department. Michelle Jamison is a Linden outreach worker for the city of Columbus. She said she appreciates the efforts.
“To help reduce crime, just the loitering aspect. Coming into the neighborhood and now being present being available,” said Jamison.
She lives in Linden, she works in Linden and she feels the safe streets initiative is one the department’s best programs under Jacobs’ watch.
“I feel like the spirit of excellence that she portrays. Starts at the head and it runs down so the officers have been very very great and implement in the safe streets initiative in the Linden community. Getting to know the residents better. Giving us a direct link to the police department and it’s been really good,” said Jamison.
But it didn’t start off without a major setback.
In 2016, plain-clothes officers shot and killed Henry Green on the first day of the initiative, and some called for Jacobs to resign.
That was just one of several examples of why some in the black community feel there is a major divide between them and police.
In March 2018 Chief Jacobs created community liaisons to help bridge the divide between police and the black, immigrant, and LGBTQ communities.
Jamison says when it comes to linden, She hopes the next chief will make progress in her neighborhood a priority.
“I’ve definitely seen an improvement there. However as I said before I would really like to get to know the new police chief and continue the Safe Streets Initiative, and make Linden a better safer stronger community,” said Jamison.