COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – After four shootings in four Columbus parks within a month, Mayor Andrew Ginther announced a plan going to the Columbus Division of Police to restore a sense of safety.
The four shootings – Nafzger and Saunders parks on April 23; Westgate Park on May 4; and Weinland Park on May 14 – have left three dead and an 8-year-old injured. Alongside legislation allocating $500,000 for lighting and mobile cameras that a company would install in 22 city parks, Ginther has the Columbus City Council considering a Memorandum of Understanding with the Fraternal Order of Police to allow extra overtime for officers during the summer.
“Summer is traditionally a time of higher crime, so we need to do all we can to keep our residents safe,” Ginther said. “The presence of sworn officers will deter violence, provide reassurance to park patrons and allow residents to build and improve connections with our first responders.”
The memorandum would let the city pay CPD officers to work Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between Memorial Day and Labor Day, making up to 40 more officers available to bolster regular CPD patrols. The staff boost is part of a bigger staffing plan, which the mayor said would include “lateral moves from other cities, auxiliary and reserve units and new recruits.”
The Columbus City Council will review the lighting legislation and memorandum at its Monday night meeting.