The Columbus Division of Police has added new duties for three patrol officers. The three have been named Diversity and Inclusion Liaison Officers who will work to build trust between police and the community.
Mayor Coleman calls for another strike force
Ten police officers and one sergeant will make up the strike force team that will target areas which have recently seen more robberies. Police department spokesman, Brent Mull, says the recent home invasions were part of the motivation for the initiative.
“We looked at the overall statistical increase in robberies that we’ve had. In November of 2004 we had 326 robberies. In November of this year we had 436. So, you can see it’s over a hundred robberies that we’ve increased by.”
Mull says the officers will be very visible in neighborhoods with high robbery rates, and compares this effort to state troopers on interstates.
“I equate it to the speeding. When you see a cruiser out in the freeway system you’re probably not going to speed. That visibility there reminds you that you’re not going to be able to get away with it. So hopefully, this kind of is a moral speedometer for the criminal aspect of it all. These guys that are going to commit these robberies are going to see these officers, kind of check their moral speedometer there and go you know what I’m going to get caught.”
The officers will be paid overtime for their efforts which Mull says could approach $60,000 by the month’s end. Mull declined to say when and where the officers would be deployed for the initiative, but says it started earlier this week.