Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson delivered the following message to the campus community Friday (Aug. 27).
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
The physical and mental health and well-being of our community members is one of our highest priorities. The frequency and severity of crime in the off-campus area is disturbing. We are taking multiple measures in our approach to keeping our students, faculty and staff safe.
On Tuesday, I met with new City of Columbus Chief of Police Elaine Bryant to discuss mitigation strategies and to reinforce our partnership focused on enhancing safety and support of all students and community members, including critical efforts in addition to policing that will advance a safer community for everyone. Beginning this weekend, the university is adding light towers and cameras along pedestrian pathways. There will also be an increased security presence: our regular Community Crime Patrol as well as our student Campus Service Officers in marked security vehicles.
I have also directed our Department of Public Safety to deploy additional resources to enhance safety beginning this weekend in coordination with the City of Columbus. There will be added law enforcement patrolling our neighborhood streets. In the coming days, we will announce additional steps to combat crime in the University District, and I look forward to working together on solutions.
The university is acutely aware that these resources are only part of the equation. Many of the steps we are taking are informed by our Task Force on Community Safety and Well-being, and we will continue to make progress on implementation. I want to reiterate in the strongest possible terms that Ohio State is committed to supporting our students and the off-campus neighborhoods in which they reside. Longer term, Ohio State is continuing work to address some of the underlying causes of crime in our community.
Our leadership team is actively engaged with the City of Columbus and will continue to work around the clock to address this issue in partnership with the city.
Kristina M. Johnson, PhD