Columbus residents voice concerns on crime getting out of hand

Published: May. 15, 2021 at 8:53 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The ramped up crime rate in Columbus lately has some residents worried. Many people are concerned about if or how the Fountain City can truly rein it in, motivating some to leave the city.

Tito Rosa is the owner of Bladez 2.0, a barbershop in The Landings off of Airport Thruway. He’s been living in Columbus more than 30 years and he says the crime is now hitting too close to home. According to him, he’s picking up and leaving the Fountain City.

“They had a robbery up the street at the Marco’s Pizza. I live close to the mall, they had a shooting at the mall, not just once but numerous times. My daughter’s not allowed to go to the mall by herself,” said Rosa. “She has to go with an adult. We carry weapons now. That’s just a part of our life style based on how the city’s going. Me personally, as a husband, father, man, I have to do what’s best to take care of my family, so my decision is I’m going to take them where they’re going to be ok, regardless of what the city does.”

Rosa, a former firefighter, adds that he believes more should be done to compensate first responders like police and firefighters. He tells News Leader 9 that he believes part of the problem is first responders don’t have a livable wage and many leave Columbus for other cities, which in turn leaves various departments with a low retention rate.

Other Columbus residents tell News Leader 9 the issue of crime is multifaceted and agree things are getting out of hand.

“It is concerning, and it’s back to back, all the time. If I wanted to go out anymore by myself, I’m not going,” said one Columbus woman.

“It’s just out of hand. If the parents had a lock on their kids like back in the day, we wouldn’t have these problems,” said a Columbus man.

“I just go where I need to go, and come on back,” an elderly Columbus woman told News Leader 9.

Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson tells News Leader 9 that his office is working with law enforcement and the community to address the crime ramping up, saying it starts at home. According to him, the city is trying to reach people and change the culture of crime in the city, by creating opportunities like job training, recreational activities, and even getting law enforcement in the communities hardest hit by crime.

Columbus is on track to pass last year’s record homicide tally. According to police, so far Columbus has seen 29 homicides, with more than 7 months left in 2021.

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