With homicides at near-record high, FOP says city needs more officers

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The Fraternal Order Of Police Capital City Lodge #9’s vice president Jeff Simpson is asking for more officers in the midst of an increase in homicides in the city.

“Honestly, sad for the citizens. Disappointed. I fear for the citizens’ safety. No one should have to live in that type of environment within the city,” says Simpson.

Homicides are at a 26-year high in Columbus. It’s something Simpson is tired of seeing. He says the city just doesn’t have the resources within the police department to keep up with the shootings and killings.

“We can’t continue the old saying ‘Let’s do more with less,’ that’s not working anymore we can’t continue to do that.” says Simpson.

Simpson says it was especially disheartening to hear the announcement about the $500 million development of the Scioto Peninsula when the police department is in need of officers.

“Five-hundred million on the Scioto mile. I’ll be honest with you, I’m armed on and off duty, and required to be. I wouldn’t want my family walking there after dark. I just don’t think it’s right. I think it’s a priority issue,” says Simpson.

NBC4 reached out to mayor Andrew Ginther’s office for an on-camera interview.  His media relations director Robin Davis told us he was not available.  However, in an email, she said the Scioto Peninsula project is through a private developer, not city money. She also said that mayor Ginther is committed to public safety. He’s allocated more than $600 million of the 2018 general operating budget to public safety, including $300 million to Columbus police.

Simpson had this message for mayor Ginther: “No it’s not enough. It’s simply the facts are the facts. We are 14 officers less today than what we were seven years ago. Let’s put our differences aside and I ask you to listen to the law enforcement professionals,” says Simpson.

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