COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Latest on Columbus officials trying to improve community and police relations at a time of soaring homicide rates (all times local):
The mayor of Ohio’s largest city says relationships between community members and police must be strengthened.
Democratic Mayor Andrew Ginther acknowledges that many residents say their faith in the police department has been shaken.
Ginther and other officials on Wednesday outlined programs the city already has in place to boost police training when it comes to dealing with violent situations.
The mayor also announced new goals for training officers when they encounter people having mental health crises.
Ginther says better police relations are critical to keeping neighborhoods safe at a time of soaring homicides, half of which are going unsolved.
Columbus has had 111 homicides so far this year.
Police Chief Kim Jacobs says the agency’s goal is to prevent the use of force whenever possible.
Records reviewed by The Associated Press show that Columbus is facing more than two dozen civil rights complaints almost 20 years after the government sued Ohio’s largest city alleging police routinely violated residents’ civil rights.
Documents also show that the city has paid more than $4 million to individuals who alleged civil rights violations over the past decade.
Recent police shootings have alarmed local clergy and activists, who want more officers trained to deal with individuals experiencing mental health crises and trained in ways to eliminate racial bias.
Democratic Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther scheduled a Wednesday news conference to discuss public safety and community-police relations.
Ginther also will discuss the city’s homicide rate, on track to possibly break a previous record of 139 killings.