Independent Investigations, Expanded Background Checks Among Council Public Safety Legislative Steps
Throughout the month of July and before members go on recess, Columbus City Council will advance a legislative package in an effort to reimagine public safety, per a press conference on Thursday, June 25.
City Council announced a package that will include independent investigations into lethal force, limiting or banning no-knock raids, instituting background checks for hate-group affiliation and demilitarizing the police.
Regarding independent investigations, a Civilian Review Board and an independent and city-funded public entity that will participate in Columbus Division of Police personnel criminal and administrative investigations will be created, per recommendations from the Community Safety Advisory Commission. However, legislative action is required to advance the implementation of the Community Safety Advisory Commission’s recommendations, according to a press release from City Council.
As a temporary measure, Mayor Andrew Ginther has formalized an agreement to allow the Bureau of Criminal Investigation to investigate CDP’s use of lethal force.
Council will hold hearings to examine CDP’s usage of no-knock and quick-knock raids, and advance legislation based on their findings. Council will also hold a hearing on Tuesday, June 30 at 4 p.m. to discuss demilitarizing the police and vote to destroy weapons identified in the Obama Administration’s prohibited weapons list, as well as consider items on the controlled list, such as Humvees and batons, to determine further action.
Council will also hold a public hearing to the discuss expanding background checks to include hate group affiliations and advancing legislation on the matter.
Council will hold a “public engagement process” to discuss reimagining public safety with residents.
Additionally, council will begin an investigation into alternative methods for public safety response, including existing programs such as:
- Rapid Response Emergency Addiction and Crisis Teams — a collaborative program between CDP officers, EMS personnel, social workers and others to respond to opioid addiction situations.
- The Mobile Crisis Response Unit — another CDP partnership — with Netcare, a mental health and substance abuse service provider.
- Applications for Purpose, Pride and Success — a crime prevention and intervention program.
More details are to come about this process, which will lead into the 2021 operating budget process. The mayor will deliver a proposed operating budget to council in mid-November.
For more information, visit the City of Columbus website.