By Ally Melnik, ’18
In 2017, Columbus broke homicide records, with the city’s 140th homicide happening in late December. This marks 2017 with the highest homicide rate since 1991.
The high amount of homicides has placed pressure on Columbus police as they try and combat the numbers for 2018. Officers are now urging more than ever for the community to contact them with reports of suspicious behavior.
The homicide count has not only affected the families involved, but has also taken a toll on the police officers. Homicide detective Sgt. Dave Sicilian expressed the remorse the officers have felt towards the homicide victims’ families in a press conference on Dec. 26.
“Every single homicide victim has a family… and we are very sensitive to that,” Sicilian said. “We’re sad to see the families’ response to a homicide.”
He continued to say that the police have every level of the homicide department “working diligently” to solve cases, as well as prevent new ones. Sicilian also added that in order for the homicide rates to significantly decrease, the police needs help from the community.
“We need the eyes and ears. We need the people that are out there every day… We just need the community’s assistance,” Sicilian said.
As 2018 begins, there have already been nine homicides as of Jan. 30. The Columbus mayor has decided to hire an additional 30 police officers to hopefully help stop the homicide rates.