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Near East Neighbors Address Crime In Area Hand-On In Safety Strategy

Neighborhood Leaders, Mayoral and Council Candidates Attend Press Conference

The Summer of 2010 was dubbed by local media as "The Summer of Violence".

In recent months, the Near East and Near South Sides of Columbus have heard more gunshots and sirens, and many residents in the Near East and Near South sides are fed-up with the violence plaguing their neighborhoods.

In the Oct. 18 Columbus Dispatch, Dispatch writer Doug Caruso quoted Columbus City Council President Andrew Ginther (D) viewing a press conference on a crime fighting strategy in the Near East and Near South Sides of Columbus as a "political stunt."

On YouTube, a rebuttal to Ginther's comment was posted, saying "We have a great community, but these issues are strangling our community's growth and scaring our residents [...] and you have the nerve to label our calls for help 'a political stunt'."

Columbus Compact Corporation CEO Jonathan Beard, past Olde Towne East Neighborhood Association (OTENA) President Mike Moore, and Co-Chair of the Olde Towne East Blockwatch Kathy Webb led this press conference on the Near East Side and Near South Side's Public Safety Strategy in the conference room of the Columbus Compact Corporation on East Main Street.

The area of East Main Street (between 18th St. and Fairwood Ave.) is the main epicenter of an overwhelming majority of the deadly shootings, drug deals, and prostitution that takes place in the Near East Side.

In the last several weeks, there were 30 shootings in the area surrounding Broad Street, Parsons Avenue, Frebis Avenue, and Alum Creek.

Of those 30 shootings, seven of them were fatalities, most recently, an area high school football athlete on Oct. 7 near the area of Frebis and Wilson Avenues. On Oct. 14, two elderly people, including an 81 year-old man watching TV in his house, were shot by bullets intended for other people.

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