COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus Division of Police will be hosting the second of five community meetings tonight to discuss how neighborhoods and officers can continue to work together. The meeting Thursday evening will be held at the Linden Community Recreation Center from 6-8pm.
At Clean Cutts Barber Shop on Cleveland Avenue, owner Jonathan Smith hears all about the neighborhood from his customers. “I think people are scared of police,” Smith says.
Linden resident Paul Holland says there’s room for improvement in community-police relations. “I believe we respect the police but I don’t know if the police respect us,” Holland said. “I think that’s the problem right there.”
It’s been a violent summer in Linden highlighted by the police-involved shooting of 23 year old Henry Green followed by an incident three weeks later where officers became targets when they were shot at.
Holland and Smith both say the neighborhood violence is rooted in inadequate opportunities for young people and too few outlets for kids.
“You say how we gonna stop these things now? Jobs going to have to come now, opportunities are going to have to come now, we have to give the kids an outlet now,” Smith said.
Several residents told NBC4 they’d like to see officers walking a beat and meeting people before there’s a problem. “They should be out here in the community on foot instead of just riding through. Get out of your cars and talk to people,” Holland said.
Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs designed the neighborhood community meetings to open a conversation about what’s happening in neighborhoods and how communities can work together with police.
The remaining meetings will be held at the following locations:
- Thursday, August 18, 2016 Linden Community Recreation1254 Briarwood Ave. Columbus, OH 43211
- Tuesday, September 27, 2016 Glenwood Community Rec. Center 1888 Fairmont Ave. Columbus, OH 43223
- Tuesday, October 25, 2016 Barnett Community Center 1184 Barnett Rd. Columbus, OH 43227
- Thursday, November 17, 2016 Driving Park Community Rec. Center 1100 Rhoads Ave. Columbus, OH 43206