A Safe & Just City

Reimagining Safety

  • After protests against racial injustice swept the nation, Council President Hardin fought to establish Columbus’ first-ever mechanism for civilian oversight of the police department in addition to pushing restrictions for no-knock warrants, demilitarization of the Division of Police, and background checks on hate group affiliations. These four legislative pieces comprise the largest change to Public Safety in Columbus in more than a decade.
  • Council President Hardin believes that true safety means refunding the community to prevent violence, not just react to it.
  • For years, Columbus and cities across the nation have asked law enforcement to address all societal woes: homelessness, mental health crises, addiction, etc. Establishing alternative crisis response allows unarmed professionals with extensive training and experience with vulnerable communities to respond to many calls for safety, freeing up law enforcement officers to focus on violent crime.
  • Columbus also deserves the best trained, best-educated police force in the country. This requires overhauling the recruitment and hiring process while enhancing training and education standards for police recruits.
  • To recognize what programs and interventions work on our streets, Columbus must invest in high-quality evaluation and data teams to ensure results-based, evidence-rooted policy and budgeting.

Gun Violence

Each year, gun violence makes up more than 75% of the murders in Columbus. That’s why Council President Hardin introduced legislation to…

  • Ban the sale of bump stocks & other tools used in mass shootings
  • Ban the sale of imitation guns to minors and prohibit the alternation of toy guns to look like real firearms
  • Expanded the definition of domestic violence to help keep guns out of the hands of residents with a history of violent offenses

Criminal Justice Reform

  • Recognizing the disproportionate impact past marijuana laws have had on Black men, Council President Hardin led Council to pass a two-part marijuana justice package: decreasing penalties for low-level marijuana possession and supporting record sealing services to get formerly incarcerated residents back into safe housing and good-paying jobs.
  • As a result of state and city action, the City of Columbus no longer prosecutes low-level marijuana offenses.