YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown Safety Committee met Thursday to discuss several topics, one of which was the efforts to combat violence in the city.
Youngstown Police Lieutenant Brian Welsh was asked to provide an update on patrols in the city to help tackle crime. He explained how several agencies are working together, including YPD, the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, the Ohio State Highway patrol, Ohio Adult Parole Authority, the U.S. Marshals and the FBI.
“I don’t have the exact numbers, but they are making numerous arrests. They’re getting guns off the road and violent offenders. It really is helping out,” he said.
First Ward Councilman Julius Oliver made a point that while patrolling is necessary in order to get guns and violent offenders off the street, it should not turn into profiling where residents are being pulled over and searched unfairly.
In addition to the patrols, Welsh said there are surveillance cameras that have been placed on streets in the city in high-crime areas. Some of those cameras are along South Avenue intersections, and others are along Belmont Avenue. The cameras are running 24/7, he said.
There are roughly eight more cameras that will soon be going up, as well.
Sixth Ward Councilwoman and safety committee chairwoman Anita Davis pointed out that the city went 97 days without a homicide. She says that shows how the efforts by these agencies are helping to reduce crime.
Currently, the city is at four homicides, with the latest being a 15-year-old girl, Amya Monserrat. Last year at this time, the city was up to six homicides.
Another topic discussed at the meeting was approving funding to replace 10 police cars at YPD. Eight of those vehicles would be used for patrol purposes, while one would go to the chief and another would go to the Neighborhood Response Unit.
The purchase of drones for YPD was also discussed which would also assist in patrolling.