Community engagement will be the cornerstone in the search for chief of police in the City of Columbus, according to Mayor Andrew Ginther.
The City of Columbus formally began its search for the next Chief of Police by announcing members of a search advisory committee, the release of a Request for Proposal for a search firm and a firm to handle community engagement in the process.
“We have an opportunity with the selection of the next chief of police to help assure that she or he is the best possible candidate whether they are internal or external to the Division,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther.
“I am looking for a change agent who will pursue innovation and excellence in policing, someone who will use the recommendations of the resident-led Safety Advisory Commission as a roadmap to guide the Division. I am looking for someone committed to increasing diversity among police officers, aligning how we police with community expectations, and approaching this position as an opportunity to serve and protect every person in every neighborhood.”
Members of the search advisory committee include:
- Dawn Tyler Lee, Chair, Deputy Chief of Staff of External Affairs in the Office of the Mayor
- Dallas Baldwin, Franklin County Sheriff
- Dee Debenport, Coordinator, Merion Village Block Watch
- Stephanie Hightower, President, Columbus Urban League
- Reverend Dr. Jefferey P. Kee, New Faith Baptist Church of Christ
- Kenny Ramos, Retired Sergeant, Columbus Division of Police
- Siobhan Boyd-Nelson, Development Director, Equality Ohio
- Pastor Brian Williams, Hope City House of Prayer
“Members of the advisory committee will help guide the process of finding the best candidates for our community,” said Lee.
“Their duties will include helping select a community engagement firm, search firm, interviewing candidates, recommending finalists for the mayors consideration and continuing to support the chief, once hired, to help ensure his or her success. I am excited about the diverse perspectives, experiences and backgrounds this talented group of community leaders will bring to the search process.”
The committee will meet for the first time this week. One of its first tasks will be to hire a firm to manage community outreach on the search process.
“Community engagement will be the cornerstone of our chief of police search,” said Mayor Ginther.
“In the coming weeks, we will be inviting residents to share their thoughts about what they would like to see in our next police chief. We will be engaging a variety of people in a variety of ways. We want to hear from students, seniors and everyone in between.”
A Request for Proposal for the search firm is expected to be released this week. The committee anticipates selecting a firm by the end of May and having them on board by July.
The first phase of community engagement will begin in May and last through June. Candidate recruitment will be complete by the end of October, followed by interviews and additional community engagement. A new chief is expected to be selected by the end of the year.
“As I have said many times, I have great confidence in the Columbus Division of Police, and I believe our officers are among the best in the country,” said Mayor Ginther.
“The officers and the residents of Columbus deserve the very best in their next Chief of Police.”
Linden: AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas partner Columbus City to help Linden
AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas are partnering with the City of Columbus to help Linden residents and businesses save energy and money.
Through the Community Energy Savers program, the Linden community can earn up to $35,000 for energy-saving improvements at neighborhood schools based on customer participation.
“AEP Ohio continually seeks to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work,” said Michael LaScola, energy efficiency training and education coordinator for AEP Ohio.
“The Community Energy Savers program educates residents about our energy-saving programs as well as the many solutions and incentives available for businesses.”
Each time a customer participates in a select Columbia Gas or AEP Ohio program, such as having a home energy audit, the Linden community earns points toward a goal.
The AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas award will be used to improve exterior lighting at the Hamilton STEM Academy playground and water heater upgrades at Como Elementary School, Duxberry Park Elementary School, Hamilton STEM Academy and Windsor STEM Academy. The Community Energy Savers program for Linden runs through July 15, 2019.
“Columbia Cares about our communities, and this is a great way for customers to save while helping the community,” said Sarah Poe, manager of energy efficiency programs for Columbia Gas.
“Every Columbia Gas or AEP Ohio customer in Linden can save through rebates on smart thermostats and energy-saving appliances, online or in-person home energy audits, programs for business and much more.”
In addition to Linden, the Community Energy Savers Program will also focus on Franklinton and the Hilltop neighborhoods in 2019 and the Near East, Milo-Grogan and University District/Italian Village in 2020.
“This program will help support a more sustainable Columbus and lower the energy burden of our residents,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “Many families are paying a disproportionally high amount of their income on home electric and gas costs. The Energy Savers Program will target our opportunity neighborhoods and provide a pathway for other Columbus residents to save money, both at home and in the workplace.”
As part of Community Energy Savers, residents and businesses will get points for taking measures such as conducting home energy audits and replacing appliances with new, more efficient models. In return for resident and business participation in Community Energy Savers, AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas will provide Columbus neighborhoods with cash awards (be consistent as stated previous paragraphs) to be used to complete energy efficiency related projects that benefit each neighborhood.
The Community Energy Savers Program is one component of a citywide campaign to reduce air pollution and lower utility bills for residents and businesses. Late last year, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced Columbus as a winning city in the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. The program will help cities like Columbus aggressively address climate issues. To help meet its goals, the City of Columbus plans to complete 30,000 energy audits in 2019 and 2020.