COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Short North Arts District will be getting new safety initiatives after a recent increase in late-night crime.
A release from the Short North Alliance states that there has recently been a 25% increase in violent crimes in the area, when compared to the same period year over year.
Because of the crime increase, the Short North Alliance and the Columbus Division of Police are partnering to create the Short North Crime Interdiction Pilot program, with funds from several businesses and property owners.
According to the release, the program, which is modeled after similar programs in populated areas like the Ohio State University campus, will provide a dedicated patrol of police officers during evening and late night hours over several consecutive weekends. It will begin this coming weekend.
“As an organization, we believe safety in the Short North Arts District is a state where everyone is free of harm, thrives, and has their well-being protected and their diversity celebrated,” said Betsy Pandora, Executive Director of the Short North Alliance. Our community has experienced a spike in incidents involving violent crime in the Short North Arts District and surrounding streets. Violent crime is not the norm in our community, and this troubling increase in incidents has caused many to be concerned and ask for solutions.”
The Short North Alliance and the City of Columbus are also forming a Violence and Injury Prevention Work Group for the Short North community.
“The Work Group will be seated over the next few weeks and will meet to identify additional solutions to support violence and injury prevention in the Short North Arts District and surrounding residential communities,” the release reads.
The Short North Alliance will also continue to offer the Short North Ambassador program, which trains people in de-escalation and are around to address any matter that does not involve an immediate threat to human life safety. Their hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays, and 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.
Anyone wanting to request help from the Short North Ambassadors can call or text 614-636-5100.