“Starting Friday night, midnight is everybody’s bedtime in the Short North,” explains Mayor Ginther on a live video announcement from the City of Columbus. Ginther, the Columbus Police Department, and other Columbus city leaders are imploring businesses in the Short North to voluntarily close after midnight this weekend, Friday through Sunday. Their goal is to take preventative measures to disrupt a clear, emerging pattern of extreme gun violence plaguing the Short North.
Two recent shootings in the Short North have resulted in 1 fatality, 10 injuries (including police officers), and businesses significantly damaged. “Here’s the bottom line – guns and alcohol don’t mix, period,” asserts Ginther.
Mayor Ginther encourages Columbus that he’s committed to use every tool at his disposal to keep the peace. “We will not allow a few hours of lawless and reckless behavior committed by a small number of people to continue. We will not stand by and allow this despicable behavior to spread any further. We will not allow these dangerous criminals to dismantle a revered community treasure like the Short North. This is our city. It’s worth fighting for.”
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A recent executive order issued by Gunther will also mandate that all food trucks in the Short North cease their operations at midnight, as well. City Council President Shannon Hardin is backing this sentiment by taking on legislation Monday, 5/22 to codify that order.
CPD will also enforce a curfew for teenagers this weekend. Anyone between the ages of 13 and 17 years old cannot be out between the hours of midnight and 4:30am.
Along with the curfew and midnight business closures, other safety measures to combat this violent streak include an increased presence of CPD officers in the Short North over the weekend. Columbus Police Chief, Eliane Bryant, said there will be parking bans between 10pm and 7am on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on N. High St., between E. Goodale St. and W. Fifth Ave. Mayor Ginther emphasizes that these enhanced safety measures are “tailor made to address the situation at hand. They’re targeted, they’re precise, and they’re being deployed in partnership with residents and businesses throughout the area.”
Columbus City Council also voted to give $250,000 to The Short North Alliance; this alliance is a nonprofit serving both the property owners and business owners in the Short North, and the ordinance will instruct CPD to work closely with businesses to develop plans that will improve safety by deterring crimes.
The City of Columbus is asking all of us to step up and do our part to keep our community safe. “We all lose when violence wins,” Shannon Hardin reminds us.
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