Large white SUV with Police in letters on the side and lights on top

As I write this article, the total number of homicides in Columbus has reached a record breaking number of 140, breaking the previously held record of 139 in 1991. The latest victims range in age from 37 to 57 years old.  Columbus is the 14thlargest city in America with at least 860,000 residents living in this rapidly growing city.

According to the HUD’s 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, Columbus has about 1,691 homeless residents, which includes veterans, families, youth, sheltered and unsheltered and chronic homeless people. The total number for Ohio is 10,095 homeless residents. The good news for Columbus is that 2017 saw a decrease by three percent from 2016.

According to the Ohio Department of Education 2016-2017 Report Card Resources, Columbus, Ohio received D’s and F’s in all categories in education. The city schools earned an F in the Graduation Component Grade, a D in the K-3 Literacy Component Grade and an F in the Prepared for Success Grade.

The number of violent crimes committed in Columbus in 2017 was 4,655. Property crimes topped at 34,269. The crime rate “per 1,000 residents” for violent crimes was 5.48 and 40.31 for property crimes committed.  
According to the Neighborhood Scout, if you live in Columbus you have a one in 183 chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime and if you live anywhere in Ohio, you have a one in 343 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime. These violent crimes include murder, rape and robbery.  
If you live in Columbus, you have one in 25 chance of becoming the victim of a property crime. Living in Ohio, you have one in 39 chance of becoming the victim of a property crime.  These property crimes include burglary, theft and motor vehicle theft.

With increase in residents, comes increase in crime. With decrease in quality education comes increase in crime. Continuing homelessness brings an increase in crime. The definition of crime is an action or omission that constitutes an offense that may be prosecuted by the state and is punishable by law. Crime is also an action or activity that, although not illegal, is considered to be evil, shameful or wrong. It is a crime that so many murders are being committed in Columbus and the murderers are being protected by family members who allow them to “hide out” in their homes while they continue to commit violent crimes against others.

It is a crime that people remain homeless when so many vacant buildings are empty in the city that they “reside” in and there are not enough homeless shelters to house their families. Yet if they “break into” these empty homes to find shelter from the cold, they have now committed a property crime that could bring them arrest.

It is a crime that with the many tax dollars that are spent to “educate” the children of Columbus that their schools continue to receive a “D” as an overall performance grade for the year. This means children are not receiving a quality education that would allow them to be successful in life. Thus, fewer people would need to commit crimes to survive due to not being able to graduate, or graduate with a “leave no child behind” education, that doesn’t and didn’t educate them properly.

It is a crime that living in Columbus increases your changes of being the victim of a violent crime due to the lack of the Columbus Police Department (CPD) to find a way to patrol the streets of city to help decrease crime. Patrol is to keep watch over an area, especially by police walking or driving around at regular intervals. Where are the police cars that we taxpayers paid to have “upgraded” and why do we not see them unless they are chasing someone or responding to a crime?  

Have you noticed that when the CPD respond to a murder that they bring out several police cars, several police officers and detectives? Where are these same police officers and cars before the crime is committed? Parked somewhere safe? Out of the public eye?  

I believe that the reason that the crime rate, especially the murder rate has gotten so high in Columbus, is because the CPD are not to be found until AFTER a crime has been committed. Criminals know that they are free to roam the streets, killing, raping and robbing the citizens who live in Columbus because they have no fear of being spotted “lurking around” by the CPD.

How are the citizens of Columbus to trust the CPD when we never see police patrols in their neighborhoods until after a crime has been committed? My wish for 2018 is that crime decreases, and the Columbus police increase their efforts to reduce crimes in our city.  

Appears in Issue: