May 2023

Columbus City Council approves $500,000 for safety efforts for Short North, Downtown

A still image taken from Columbus Division of Police bodycam footage released May 8 at a press conference, a city police officer attends to a suspected gunman who was among 10 people known to have been shot early May 6 along North High Street in the Short North.

By Mark Ferenchik | May 15th, 2023

Columbus City Council has approved $500,000 for additional safety measures for Downtown and the Short North, the latter of which saw more violence for the second weekend in a row when a 21-year-old man was shot and killed early Sunday.

The city Department of Public Safety will work with Columbus police and neighborhood business groups, the Short North Alliance and Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District to develop plans to spend the money to thwart crime and boost safety in the destination Columbus business districts.

The Dispatch had left a message to speak with Betsy Pandora, executive director of the Short North Alliance, a nonprofit organization which advocates for business and property owners in the arts district. Instead, the alliance issued a prepared statement.

“The safety of those who live, work, and visit the Short North remains our top priority, and we are actively committed to partnering with elected leaders, CPD, businesses, residents, and other community stakeholders to implement necessary changes that will reduce gun violence throughout Columbus,” the alliance said in the email Monday afternoon.

Marc Conte, executive director of the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District, which covers part of Downtown, said the money will go toward more special duty officers, including some during the day, plus additional training for the group’s security operations and private security with an eye toward de-escalation.

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