COLUMBUS, OH (WCMH) — Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther appointed 17 people to the city’s newly formed Community Safety Advisory Commission Thursday.
The mayor says this is all a part of his Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety Strategy.
With 132 applications submitted, Ginther chose 17 people to represent the commission.
“A belief that we are safer when we proactively address public safety in corporation with our residents,” said Ginther during his announcement.
Back in the fall, Ginther rolled out his Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety Strategy along with the formation of the advisory commission. Community leaders, faith leaders and educators will make up the group.
Out of the 17 is Tracy Shaw, a current Columbus police officer, and other familiar faces like Tammy Fournier-Alsaada, community leader with the People’s Justice Project.
“This is an important conversation for this community to have. How are we going to police?,” said Ginther.
The commission is tasked with reviewing how the division of police operates, including policies, training and procedures.
Janet Jackson, former county judge and city attorney, will lead the commission.
“Not saying that they are wrong, but everything should be reviewed at certain points,” said Jackson.
The commission will take a look at challenges plaguing the city, like the opiates crisis and community-police relationships.
Police Chief Kim Jacobs is optimistic but says she has some concerns.
“That social media outcry that happened. The epitome of de-escalation and people read it the wrong way. There is a big education gap, in my opinion, that I hope that this commission will take the time to get educated where they need to,” said Jacobs.
“We understand what is written in their guidelines and how they come into our communities. What we are saying is that we need to look at how it is enforced. Is there a graduate of force,” said Fournier-Alsaada.
No one on the commission is getting paid to sit on this board. Their first meeting is scheduled for April.