COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Columbus city leaders announced they’re looking to add $600,000 to “Operation Moonlight”.
It’s a city wide initiative aimed at increasing police presence at events where there are large crowds – that could turn violent.
It’s made possible through Columbus police officers picking up voluntary overtime to not leave their normal shifts.
“We’ve seen great success in this approach, which is why we’re adding operation moonlight to include special events occurring on weekends through the end of the year,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther. “They’ve been nimble, flexible and very strategic and it is proven to be a great additional support.”
Mayor Ginther was joined by Columbus police assistant chief Greg Bodker.
In addition to the funding, $2 million is already going towards the operation through the end of the month.
“This additional funding announced by the mayor will enable us to continue to provide a higher level of security at events throughout the remainder of this year,” Bodker said.
Bodker says so far this year “Operation Moonlight” has responded to more than 1,000 calls for service, leading to 26 misdemeanor arrests, nine felony arrests and over 16,000 positive reports from the community.
“Those lower enforcement actions and more the presence of the officers in a positive light have impacted events in those parks, those communities where they’re present,” Bodker said. “And so some of it’s intangible. We will continue to monitor any threats throughout the city and determine exactly where to deploy these resource.”
City leaders say they’re committed to being proactive in their approach to safety.
The legislation for additional funding towards “Project Moonlight” will come before city council the first week of October.