COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – New security cameras are being installed at a west Columbus apartment complex city leaders have deemed a nuisance.

The Wedgewood Village Apartments have a years-long history of violent crime, and now Columbus police will have access to the security feed and be able to watch the apartments in real-time.

“This didn’t start yesterday and it’s not going to end tomorrow,” said Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein. “We need a long-term strategy and while those address the short term, the long-term strategy is to step up and increase community engagement with that particular apartment complex and all the residents.”

The owners of the Wedgewood Village Apartments previously blamed the continued violence on a lack of police patrol. Once the security cameras are installed, Columbus police will be able to watch what’s going on around Wedgewood remotely and act when necessary.

“There’s a passion to figure this out, to root the bad elements out,” Klein said.

In addition to the security cameras, there will be additional lighting and special duty patrols across the complex.

“That’s a combination that, I think, can help address some of the short-term, medium-term violent problems that we have there,” Klein said. “This is an ever-evolving project and, frankly, from my perspective, we have to rely on CPD because they are the security experts.”

Last week, the ownership group of Wedgewood Village Apartments, Michigan-based American Community Developers, said it blames the violence at the complex on a lack of patrols from police, which the company pays for.

The special duty patrol at Wedgewood is done on a volunteer basis. In 2021, officers marked 2,445 hours of special duty patrol; this year, that number is slightly less, at 2,143 hours. Those hours are in addition to regular patrol functions.

Klein believes the new technology will benefit all parties working to improve living conditions at Wedgewood.

“The families of Wedgewood, and I was just out there kind of walking the streets, they deserve better,” he said. “They deserve to have a safe place to raise their family and it’s gut-wrenching to hear the stories from the families that live there.”

Klein’s office, Columbus police, and the complex’s owners meet on a monthly basis to discuss progress, saying one long-term goal is to increase community engagement.