UPDATE: Columbus City Council approved $500,000 to improve safety measures in downtown business districts. For more on the vote, click here.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Columbus City Council is set to vote on funds to make the city’s downtown business districts, including the Short North, safer after two back-to-back violent weekends.
At its meeting Monday, the council is scheduled to vote on spending $500,000 as part of the Business District Safety Enhancement Program.
According to the ordinance, the city will transfer the money to the Department of Public Safety, which will work with Columbus police, the Short North Alliance, and Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District “to develop plans to appropriately deter crime and improve safety in Columbus’ business districts.” The Short North Alliance and the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District will receive $250,000 each. Since 2022, the city has funded the program, which it said has resulted in a significant reduction in crime.
Monday’s vote to fund the program for this year happens to come after two violent weekends in the Short North district. On May 6, at least 10 people were shot in two incidents in the Short North, with police exchanging gunfire with some of the suspects. Then, eight days later, a 21-year-old man was killed Sunday after an argument led to a shooting, according to police.
“There is a need for a continuation of this funding from the City of Columbus to supplement safety enhancements in business districts throughout the City of Columbus,” the ordinance states.
If approved, the money will be spent to hire special duty officers and community outreach workers and fund educational campaigns. The council is set to meet at Columbus City Hall starting at 5 p.m.