President Kristina M. Johnson and Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther announced today that the Ohio State University will invest an additional $2 million per year for the next decade to improve safety and security on and around campus. An estimated $20 million will be spent in total.
A spike in gun violence in Columbus has prompted the announcement.
This problem will not be solved in our community or city unless we work together, Johnson said.
After responding to a report of a firearm discharge near a residence near Tuller Street and Woodruff Avenue, Ohio State police issued a neighborhood safety notice this morning. Gun violence in the city, according to Johnson and Ginther, must end.
Ginther cited a shooting that occurred in Columbus, Ohio, last night, in which two young people aged 12 and 16 were hurt. He asserted that the number of violent crimes is higher than just a number.
Violence like this has become all too common, but Ginther says it is tragic, devastating, and unacceptable just as it ever was. My primary concern is for the safety of everyone in our community. Throughout the day and night, we will work with our colleagues at Ohio State to help prevent crime and hold those responsible for it accountable.
The additional funds are being provided as part of a larger effort to improve university safety. The Ohio State University has spent over $1 million in safety measures since the tragic shooting death of Chase Meola last year.
This is not good enough," he said. Johnson emphasized that "we must do more."
With the additional funds, the following improvements can now be made:
To begin, off-campus security will be significantly increased, including the use of more private security and continued support for the Community Crime Patrol. Additional campus service officers will be added, and their patrols will immediately extend into the University District as a result of the increased security.
Increasing the number of mobile lighting and camera systems by at least ten to cover the surrounding area where Ohio State University students live.
Incorporating student transportation into the existing Lyft Ride Smart program on High Street.
Recruiting and training new officers for the Ohio State Police Department will continue. In order to expand joint patrol coverage outside of campus, four new officers have recently been sworn in.
To make sure that the university's new off-campus safety strategy is effective, Johnson asked Ohio State's public safety team for the help of an outside safety expert.
"The safety of my students is the most important thing to me." "The safety of our students is and will always be our top priority," Johnson asserted. "I'm not going to stop until this is fixed."
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