Columbus Council now is in a 5:30 p.m. session in which it expects to hear how residents feel about hiring a proposed crime-prevention director whose salary would range $63,208-$96,179.
Councilors will not vote tonight on establishing the position. The measure is on what’s called “first reading,” meaning it’s up for public discussion. Judy Thomas, Mayor Jim Wetherington’s executive assistant, will make a brief presentation on the proposal.
Visitors to the meeting held in the Columbus Government Center can get into the building's plaza level using the steps on the office tower's south side, by the eternal flame veterans' memorial. The tower's ground floor entrance has been closed for renovations.
The next chance council will get to vote on the ordinance creating the crime-prevention position is Aug. 11.
The position would be at the city pay grade 24, a mid-level director like the elections supervisor and the head of the community reinvestment office that manages city-owned property. The job title is “Director of the Office of Crime Prevention.” The job is to plan and coordinate crime-prevention programs with other agencies, to oversee the distribution of funds devoted to crime prevention, to gauge which programs are most effective, to apply for grants and to prepare reports for the mayor and council.
The minimum qualifications are a bachelor’s degree in communications, public administration, criminal justice or a related field, and at least five years’ experience in the public sector, “or any combination of education, training and experience which provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.”
Hiring a crime prevention director was among the recommendations a 15-member Mayor’s Commission on Crime Prevention made in a report to councilors. After Columbus passed a sales tax devoted primarily to public safety in 2008, the commission was appointed to find ways to better coordinate crime prevention efforts.