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Columbus City Council Announces New Strategies For Neighborhood Safety, Police Accountability

Columbus City Hall
David Holm
/
WOSU

Columbus City Council presented short- and long-term strategies to increase neighborhood safety and police accountability on Wednesday.

Council introduced a range of ideas, including partnering with the fire department to provide free access to gun locks at all stations, and investing more money in organizations dedicated to helping victims of human trafficking.

Last summer’s protests inspired restrictions on chemical agents against nonviolent protestors. However Columbus City Councilmember Emmanuel Remy wants to take those restrictions a step further.

“We also need officers to have an obligation, an act of obligation to step in when they see something wrong,” Remy said. “This is why I think it is important to establish a policy for our officers to have a duty to intervene.”

Remy referred to the murder of George Floyd last summer in explaining why he thinks this legislation is essential.

“The dereliction of duty leading to the death of Mr. Floyd was an officer whose name shall not be said here today abusing his authority and a failure to intervene by the other police officers on the scene,” Remy said.

City councilmembers said they conducted more than 4,000 resident surveys and 22 hours of community meetings to gather ideas. This announcement is part of the city’s Reimagining Public Safety initiative.

Columbus City Council will host a hearing July 6 examining ways to codify the Civilian Review Board into law.