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Mayor says city will hire 30 more police officers for 2018

Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin announces $2 million in new funding to pay for neighborhood safety initiatives and more police officers following last year's record 143 slayings, on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. Hardin says the goal is a city where people feel safe walking out their door. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Columbus mayor says the city will hire an additional 30 police officers on top of already scheduled hires this year as Ohio’s biggest city struggles with a record high homicide rate.

The additional 30 officers announced Wednesday by Mayor Andrew Ginther would give the city about 100 new officers this year. The Democratic mayor also announced an additional $2 million to pay for the extra officers and other neighborhood safety initiatives

The head of the police union representing Columbus officers has said the city needs a minimum of 200 new officers.

Columbus tallied 143 slayings last year, four more than the previous high in 1991 in the midst of the crack cocaine epidemic. The city has had eight homicides so far this year.

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