A group of Columbus health professionals and community activists say the city needs a new perspective on dealing with violence in neighborhoods.
Following the lead of a recent report from the American Public Health Association, they are calling on city officials to treat violence - including police related shootings -- as a matter of public health. LPN and Linden resident Jessica Roach says that requires a change in funding and and a shift in emphasis.
Community activist Tammy Fournier-Alsada with the People's Justice Project that arose this summer after two police-involved shootings, says the key to solving community problems in neighborhoods like Linden is finding "credible messengers" from within the community to develop and implement solutions.
Her group last year issued a list of demands to city leaders in the wake of the police shootings of unarmed black men. Those included police ending the Summer Safety Initiative, also known as the Summer Strike Force, and using the funds to tackle violence in a different way. Fournier-Alsada, Roach and others say they want to work with city leaders to develop a public heatlh approach to violence. The People's Justice Project is planning to lead a prayer march to Mayor Andrew Ginther's state of the city address at the police training academy next Thursday night.