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Parks Department Seeks More Security After Shooting

Andy Berg

Officials in Columbus, Ohio, are still working out the details on a new security plan for the city’s pools, parks and recreation centers after a person was shot and killed during a fight at the Far East Side Rec Center.

Following the killing of Makenzi Ridley, 17, Columbus mayor Andrew Ginther announced an extensive plan to reallocate police resources and hire outside security personnel for the city’s 28 rec centers, 400 parks and eight pools.

The local ABC affiliate reports that the increased security presence has been slow in coming.

“Chief Bryant is exploring options and resources to put together a temporary Park Detail to boost security at parks and community centers this summer,” assistant director Glenn McEntyre said.

McEntyre also said that law enforcement agencies have not yet been contact for special duty shifts.

“At this point, there are not any outside agencies being solicited for special duty (other than private security being hired by Rec & Parks),” McEntyre stated.

The Columbus City Council has allocated $100,000 for security guards at its public pools.

ABC contacted the Department of Recreation and Parks to ask if private security has yet started after the director secured a contract for unarmed guards with Securi-Pro LLC. While the contract lists compensation between $25 an hour to $37.50 an hour per guard, it does not list start dates or number of guards to be hired.

Columbus police have yet to make any arrests in Ridley’s murder.

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