Columbus Summer Policing: What is it?
The summer policing program was started in 2005 to combat the increased spikes in crimes during the summer. Additional officers from various precincts are sent to so-called hot spot areas. Since the program start, increased patrols target the same neighborhoods: South Side, East Side, Hilltop, and Linden. Many times the police officers will patrol in unmarked cares in plainclothes.
Does it work?
The program claims to be more effective by touting increased arrests, but that is not a satisfactory indicate of the program's success but rather a consequence. There is no proof that this program drives down crime. According to the data reported by the Columbus Police department, we have seen no clear indicator that the program is leading to less serious crimes such as homicide. (See Division Statistics: Reported Murders 2006 through 2015 from the Columbus Police 2015 Annual Report)
What else should we do?
Simply arresting more people does not lead to or indicate safer communities. We at DSA propose that the funding be directed in a different manner. There are more effective alternatives that the $500,000 funds can be allocated towards which include, bur are not limited to:
- Investment in mental health services, schools, job training, drub rehabilitation centers
- Community gardens, green spaces, recreational centers
- Community policing, which would allocate police officers throughout areas in order for them to become more familiar with the local community
- More resources to the local established police department in the target areas
DSA is circulating a petition of support to take to our City Leaders. You can show your support by signing the petition.