Columbus City Council Meeting Highlights:
• REIMAGINING SAFETY: Council will pass several ordinanceand two code changes that advance the Reimaging Safety agenda. These ordinances will provide over $2.8 million in funding for youth programming geared toward summer employment, safety education, violence intervention, and enabling identification on Police uniforms. A detailed description of the organizations and the amount of funding for each is at the bottom of this release.
• DEMILITARIZING THE DIVISION OF POLICE: President Pro Tem Elizabeth C. Brown, chair of the Finance Committee, is sponsoring ordinance 1440-2022 to create restrictions upon military-style equipment and tactics used by the Division of Police. Demilitarization is a tool for creating public trust and reducing barriers to the resident-officer connections that are necessary for law enforcement to support public safety. The legislation restricts the use of equipment such as chemical agents, helicopters, and explosives and pyrotechnics in order to avoid their misuse or overuse, thereby preventing harm to residents and supporting the legitimacy of the Division in their eyes.
• APPROVING THE RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR THE CIVILIAN POLICE REVIEW BOARD: Councilmember Emmanuel V. Remy, chair of the Public Safety Committee, is sponsoring ordinance 0098X-2022 to adopt a resolution approving the rules and regulations of the Civilian Police Review Board. Columbus City Code §235.02(C) grants the Civilian Police Review Board the authority to promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with Columbus City Code §121.05 to carry out its duties as provided for in the Charter and in Columbus City Code Chapter 235. And, Columbus City Code §235.03 directs the Civilian Police Review Board to receive, initiate, review, and, if appropriate, to direct the Inspector General to investigate and prepare a report for review, complaints alleging misconduct and/or excessive use of force by sworn personnel of the Columbus Division of Police.
• RECOGNIZING JUNE AS NATIONAL MEN’S HEALTH MONTH: Councilmember Shayla D. Favor is sponsoring ordinance 0106x-2022 to designate June as National Men’s Health Month in the City of Columbus and to recognize the National African American Wellness Agency on their efforts to improve men’s health. Men’s Health Month is an annual observance aimed at raising awareness of preventable health problems and encouraging early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. Across the country at health fairs and other health education and outreach activities, the focus of this month is encouragement of men, boys, and their families to take control of male health issues with the proper screenings and care.
• POLICE UNIFORM IDENTIFICATION: Councilmember Rob Dorans, chair of the Public Utilities Committee, is sponsoring ordinance 1455-2022 to mandate the placement of officer names and badge numbers to alternative uniforms and riot gear, as well as reaffirm current police directives to ensure officers are clearly identifiable while on duty. This is in response to numerous complaints regarding police misconduct during protest events. Current investigations into many of these incidents have proven difficult given the inability to identify parties involved.