City prepares for Short North business curfew, increased policing, to curb crime
City leaders are calling for a voluntary curfew to try and stem the rising tide of violence in the Short North, which has seen 1 person killed, 10 people shot, and 11 weapons confiscated in the past two weekends. In the same way that a small number of people are responsible for crime, Mayor Andrew Ginther says it tends to occur in a short window of time.
"It's happening after midnight, on weekends, or in the early morning hours when people have been out drinking and they're hanging around, and not going home. Whe n one thing leads to another, and trouble erupts
Ginther says the first step to hit pause on recent violence is a voluntary midnight curfew on businesses in the Short North, from Friday to Sunday. He says he will issue an executive order to close street food vendors at midnight, despite a recent city council decision to expand hours.
Police Chief Elaine Bryant says the Division will step up car, bike and foot patrols from 8pm to 4 am, and time off requests for officers working second and third shifts have been canceled.
"You've been put on noticed and warned: our officers are prepared to strictly enforce illegal, unruly behavior. Which include: disorderly conduct, inducing panic, obstructing a city right-of-way, community noise, street racing, unnecesary squealing of tires, underage of drinking and violation of open container laws. We will also be enforcing the city's curfew laws."
The curfew will keep teens aged 13 to 17 off the streets in the Short North between midnight and 4:30 am, as the rate of crime among young people continues to rise. In a further measure to clear the streets, there will be no street parking on High Street between Goodale Street and 5th Avenue from 10 pm to 7 am, and rider-sharing services will be required to use the curb lane for pick-ups.
Ginther says the voluntary early business closures will be in place "for as long as it takes" to slow the rate of violence. But closures and patrols are not the whole plan.
"This is a collaborative effort. We have a long history of partnering with broad coalitions to strengthen neighborhood safety, rpotecting residents and visitors alike. But our work isn't done. Recent events make abundantly clear the pressing need to do more in the face of gun violence."
Ginther says he anticipates that businesses will honor the midnight curfew, in the interst of the neioghborhood's economic health. If they don't, he warns they "will have the full and undivided attention of city, county, and state law enforcement."