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Safety and Security

Columbus is committed to the safety of our residents and visitors. Mayor Andrew J. Ginther developed the Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety Program and, in 2022, committed $660 million to fund community safety initiatives. From Special Improvement Districts downtown that employ safety ambassadors to interactive kiosks throughout our main entertainment districts, here’s how visitors can stay safe while visiting Columbus. 


Safety Improvement Districts (SIDs) downtown help make Columbus the cleanest, safest and best place to live, work, play and visit. Various Columbus SIDs employ safety ambassadors, special-duty police officers, homeless outreach specialists and safety coordinators. In addition to focusing on a comprehensive approach to crime prevention, SIDs facilitate real-time communication with safety professionals that offer a variety of services, including being available to walk residents and visitors to their car or bus stop in the evening, or even providing and umbrella during an unexpected rainfall.

Two women shopping in the Short North Arts District


In the Short North Arts District
In the Short North Arts District, the Short North Alliance offers an Ambassador Program to provide safety escorts to patrons and employees in the district, and a Crime Interdiction Program that provides increased officer patrols in the district. The ambassadors are regularly available to provide safety escorts to patrons and employees to destinations within several blocks of High Street as requested on demand. 

Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays, and 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. For help from the Short North Ambassadors or to request a Safety Escort, call or text 614-636.5100. Response times may vary based on demand. Full information about these and other safety programs in the Short North are on its website.  


Downtown, visitors can contact the Capital Crossroads & Discovery Special Improvement Districts to request a safety escort. Downtown safety ambassadors are available Monday through Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. They can be reached at 614-228-5718 and cover this geographic area. The ambassadors also provide directions, dining recommendations and homeless outreach services. 


Static pillars strategically placed throughout the city’s commercial and entertainment areas, including the University District, Arena District, Short North Arts District, downtown, Brewery District and German Village, IKEs offer a variety of connectivity and safety features, such as:

  • Wireless hotspot allows users to connect mobile devices to IKE’s free Wi-Fi
  • System can deliver immediate broadcasts of emergency messages and critical updates
  • Security cameras create an extra layer of safety within heavily-populated areas
  • Visible “push to call” emergency button allows two-way communication with authorities and expedites emergency response times