Council candidates: Is Columbus safe enough?
Sunday, October 14, 2007 4:06 AM
Here are responses to questions about public safety from the
10 candidates for Columbus City Council. (The mayoral candidates'
responses appear on Page G1.) Eight candidates are competing
for four full terms on the City Council. Two others are running
head-to-head to finish a term won in 2005 by Mary Jo Hudson,
who left for a state job.
Is Columbus getting safer or becoming more dangerous?
consumes 70 percent of the city budget. Should that level of spending for police
and fire services be protected, even by cutting other programs or raising taxes?
Should Columbus add police officers at a faster pace than it has (116 officers)
Beyond adding police, what ideas do you have for fighting crime?
For one, two-year partial term
Heidi Samuel (R)
Of the two choices, Columbus is becoming more dangerous. Police
commanders say we are "holding the line" on the worst
offenses but losing ground in proactive patrolling and enforcement.
Neighborhood leaders and residents indicate growing concern
about crime and vandalism in their neighborhoods that they've
never seen before. You be the judge.
How much we spend isn't a measure of meeting citizens' safety
expectations. I oppose raising taxes but support tough fiscal
decisions and dedicating specific funding sources to public
safety and code enforcement. To start, I recommend EMS billing
and estate-tax revenues be dedicated to public safety.
According to commanders and sergeants, we need 403 more officers
on the street. In adding 14 new officers per year (116 over
eight years), there are less officers per resident on our streets
today than in 2000. These numbers confirm we aren't keeping
pace with population growth or demand for service.
I want online, user-friendly, real-time crime reporting provided
to the public similar to San Jose, Calif., and better incident
reporting technology for officers; strongly enforce community-service
penalties for vandals; and more sophisticated linking and communication
between neighborhood block watches, precinct officers and code
[Read the answers of all 10 candidates on www.dispatch.com)
Copyright © 2007, The Columbus Dispatch
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