The Latest: Group: Evaluate policing using more than arrests


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on an anti-crime program in Ohio’s capital (all times local):

3:55 p.m.

A group that criticized city policing after two fatal shootings by Columbus officers says metrics for an annual anti-crime program should include a focus on the wellbeing of families and not just arrests.

Tammy Fournier-Alsaada from the People’s Justice Project says she’s encouraged by one recommendation from a report released Wednesday about the summer initiative. That recommendation suggests a policy in which plainclothes officers work in direct proximity to uniformed officers.

Calls for changes to the summer police program grew after the death of 23-year-old Henry Green. Police say Green was shot June 6 after he ignored the commands of two plainclothes officers to drop his gun and fired on them. His death came during the summer initiative.

The Columbus City Council’s president says he’s committed to reevaluating the program.

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3:20 p.m.

The Columbus mayor says that as he prepares his budget proposal, he’s weighing various input about an annual anti-crime program that has been criticized by protesters after two fatal shootings by police in Ohio’s capital.

Democratic Mayor Andrew Ginther says the community safety initiative has helped keep neighborhoods safe for many years and it’s always evolving.

Police released crime statistics for the summer police program on Wednesday. The report comes as city officials are evaluating the initiative.

The report’s recommendations call for a funding increase to the program to boost the number of officers over the summertime.

Asked in a Wednesday interview whether he would seek more money, Ginther told The Associated Press he’s still meeting with law enforcement, community leaders and others as he works to finalize his proposal.

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2:30 p.m.

The director of an annual anti-crime program in Columbus is recommending a funding boost for the summer initiative to deploy more officers.

The recommendation from Commander Gary Cameron is included in a report released Wednesday that details the program’s crime statistics. The figures show 402 arrests, 87 firearms removed from the streets and nearly 2 ½ kilograms of heroin seized from late May to late August.

Cameron declined to further discuss his recommendations, though said in an interview funding was higher in the program’s early years.

Cameron says challenges have increased because of the opiate epidemic. For instance, the city’s robbery rate is up.

The report comes as the Columbus City Council’s president says he’s committed to reevaluating the initiative, which has been criticized by protesters following two fatal police shootings.

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10:30 a.m.

Columbus police say an annual anti-crime program remains effective despite criticism from protesters following two fatal shootings by officers.

Police released crime statistics for the summer initiative on Wednesday. The figures show 402 arrests, along with 87 firearms and nearly 2 ½ kilograms of heroin seized from late May to late August.

The report says the city’s homicide rate remains relatively unchanged over the past five years. Police say the city’s robbery rate for the summer months increased over the past four years, in part because of the opiate epidemic.

The numbers come as the Columbus City Council’s president has said he’s committed to reevaluating the community safety initiative following calls from demonstrators.

The program deploys more officers during the summer. Most of its $750,000 budget is spent on overtime.

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This story has been corrected to show that the time period for the police initiative ended in late August, not early September.

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