COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Columbus city leaders are asking Short North businesses to close at midnight this weekend to combat the rise of violence in the area.
Mayor Andrew Ginther on Thursday announced a midnight curfew starting on Friday for the arts district in an effort to curb local violence. Ginther also announced an executive order to shut down all food carts at midnight.
“Starting Friday night, midnight is everybody’s bedtime in the Short North,” said Ginther. “We believe the businesses are going to do the right thing. This is what is in the community interest, the common good.”
Columbus police will be adding more lighting and cameras, and enforcing a “juvenile curfew” from midnight to 4 a.m. In addition, Police Chief Elaine Bryant said no one can park on High Street from 5th to Goodale between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
“We are addressing our concerns for the people who are here for the wrong reasons. We want to be sure we are taking them off the streets,” Bryant said. “We want to be sure the people who want to come down here and patronize businesses wanna come down here and have fun have the ability to do so.”
Ginther said the tactics will remain in place until violence decreases, and said the set of unprecedented acts are required to beat the moment.
Community members believe the curfew will impact businesses the most. Betsy Pandora, Short North Alliance executive director, said business owners helped the city come to this solution.
“Now really is the time for partnerships and to come together and to do all that we can to support the safety for all in our community,” said Pandora.
Special duty officers have worked more than 4,000 hours in the Short North and intervened in more than 900 incidents, Pandora said. The Columbus City Council will be codifying the mayor’s executive order on Monday.