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Weinland Park Community Civic Association

Safety Committee
Notes from meeting of March 15, 2012
John Risteter, chair of the Safety Committee, called the meeting to order at 5:35 p.m. in the
Northside Neighborhood Pride Center. In attendance were R. Anthonio Barno, Greg Davis, Greg
Denby, Diane Dixon, Betina Ebady, Joyce Hughes, Jen Mankin, Isom Nivins, Steve Sterrett, and
Nick Torres.
Crime statistics. Steve Sterrett presented the crime statistics for Weinland Park for January and
February 2012 and compared the number of incidents with the same months in 2011. (More
complete crime statistics had been distributed to committee members by e-mail in advance of the
meeting.) Officer Steve Smith noted that crime reports in the University District as a whole have
been below average in the last few months.
Safety cameras. Joyce Hughes reported that City Council Member Michelle Mills will hold a
public hearing on March 21 at 5 p.m. regarding the operation of the public safety cameras
installed last year in five neighborhoods, including Weinland Park. Mr. Risteter and Ms. Hughes
said that they planned to attend the hearing. Committee members discussed the safety cameras.
Betina Ebady suggested that the video feeds from the cameras be placed on a website for public
monitoring. Others expressed concern that they had not heard anything from the Division of
Police regarding the effectiveness of the cameras.
Vacant properties. Mr. Risteter said that residents who have volunteered to monitor vacant
properties near their homes could represent the start of more neighborhood involvement in public
safety matters, perhaps leading to creation of a Block Watch. Mr. Sterrett said that 10 persons
have volunteered to monitor vacant properties in an effort to prevent fires in these structures. He
distributed a map showing a number of likely vacant properties in Weinland Park. Isom Nivins
said he will obtain an updated list of vacant properties prepared by the City of Columbus. Mr.
Sterrett will distribute this list to the volunteers to help assess which properties may be vacant on
their streets.
Resident involvement. Mr. Risteter wants to encourage residents to participate in the Safety
Committee. Mr. Sterrett suggested a public meeting on safety issues that might use audience
response technology (clickers) to create an interesting dialogue. Ms. Hughes said that
neighbors will express a concern with drug-dealing. Ms. Ebady said if the committee begins
taking action, then people will be more interested in being involved. She suggested that the
committee hear complaints from neighbors regarding unruly young people and then address the
concerns with the young peoples parents. She also suggested taking children and parents on fun
outings away from the neighborhood. Jen Mankin suggested a training session for residents on
what specifically they can do to promote public safety.
Immigrants. Nick Torres asked whether the Safety Committee and the civic association have
reached out to immigrants in Weinland Park, particularly those who are Spanish-speaking. He
expressed concern about the actions of federal agents regarding immigrants. Committee

members explained some past attempts to reach Spanish-speaking neighbors and welcomed
suggestions from Mr. Torres.
Citizens Police Academy. R. Anthonio Barno announced that the City of Columbus will
conduct its Citizens Police Academy beginning in April. Mr. Barno hopes that some Weinland
Park residents will participate in the program.
The business of the committee being concluded, Mr. Risteter adjourned the meeting at 6:56 p.m.

Notes taken by Steve Sterrett.

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