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Mayor Announces Selection For New Public Safety Director

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Esther Honig
/
WOSU
Ned Pettus is the new director of public safety

After months of vetting and multiple extensions to the search process, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther has selected his new Director of Public Safety.

From the four final candidates, Ned Pettus, the former chief of the Columbus Fire Department will assume the role. Ginther says he expects Pettus to face tough issues and solve them through collaboration.

"As the tragic events of the last couple of weeks have shown I needed someone who could build bridges between all people and communities. I found that person in Ned Pettus," said Ginther. 

The position of Public Safety Director has an added focus on relations between community and law enforcement. Ginther says Pettus shares his commitment to ensure that the city's police are as transparent as possible, and that includes the implementation of police-worn body cameras.

Pettus, who grew up in the Linden neighborhood and touts his deep connections in many of the city's neighborhoods, says that he and the mayor are also committed to diversifying the police force.

"Instead of a police officer, if they know Ned, James, Jon, Bruce, it makes a difference. Even in the reaction to being arrested or some negative situation..but if they know you.. I think that makes a difference.... and right now they know me," said Pettus.

Under Pettus' direction, the Division of Fire received international accreditation from the Center of Public Safety Excellence. Pettus retired in 2012, but says he just wasn't quite ready to hang up his hat.