Office of Violence Prevention?
COLUMBUS' HOMICIDE RATE ESCALATES, AND DIRECTOR BAILS OUT. WHO'S NEXT AND WHAT'S NEXT?
COLUMBUS, OH – City of Columbus Mayoral candidate Joe Motil says, “Andy Ginther continues to spout off about crime numbers being down and how he is going to make Columbus, Ohio “the safest city in America” while he reduces the police force. At the same moment, 5 homicides occurred within a 48-hour period between this past Saturday evening and late Monday afternoon. To date, there have been 44 homicides in Columbus. On March 13th, the city of Columbus tragically recorded its 30th homicide of 2023. Since Ginther has been mayor, this is the second fastest time that Columbus has reached 30 homicides.”
“Ginther’s orchestrated election year media announcement of his “historic” Office of Violence Prevention, along with the hiring of Hilliard resident and criminal defense attorney Rena Shak as Director, is nothing more than election year theatre. Ms. Shak is a fine criminal defense attorney, but why would Ginther hire her as his personal legal counsel when he already has 60 attorneys in the City Attorney’s office to work for him? As far as we know, no other Columbus Mayor has ever hired their own personal legal counsel. It is likely that Ms. Shak needed a job after losing her 2021 election bid as a Municipal Court judge.”
Motil continues, “Public Safety Director Robert Clark’s sudden announcement on Monday April 4th that he is resigning after only 19 months on the job, has the same bad odor of power that controlled clashes between OSU’s departing President Johnson and Les Wexner. Why doesn’t the media look into Director Clark’s abrupt departure with the same intensity as President Johnson’s? Those close to the Division of Police say that Director Clark, Chief Elaine Bryant and Assistant Chief Potts did not share compatible views of crime prevention and policing and clashed often.“
“After Ginther’s campaign stunt of creating his “historic” Office of Violence Prevention, Director Clark had obviously seen enough of the mayor’s incompetence in addressing crime and bailed out. The Office remains undefined without policies, programs, timetables or measurements of success. Chief Bryant is rarely available to the media or the community. One has to wonder how much longer she plans on hanging around. Will Columbus soon be searching for our third police chief within only three years?”
Motil concludes, “Ginther is a servant of big money interests. Election year promises, catchy slogans, and creating more city bureaucracy doesn’t address our city’s increasing crime rate. Columbus cannot afford to have a mayor remain in office who only prioritizes the financial needs and investments of his campaign contributing developers and special interests and never the needs of the people and our neighborhoods.”
“To address crime, we must first focus on the underlying problems. Decent affordable housing, public education, neighborhood and commercial infrastructure, structural racism, our homeless, child and mental health care, a 21st century mass transit system, and genuine safety. The people of Columbus are being left behind. We are in a fight for the soul of our city. Together we must and can make change.”