The Columbus City Council voted Monday night to spend $44,800 to extend the ShotSpotter contract.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Wedgewood Village, the city of Columbus’ largest low-income housing development, is a place most residents say they’d rather not live.

“I would leave as soon as possible. It’s terrible. It’s terrible. It’s unfortunate,” said Jeffrey Harmon, who says he’s lived here for two years.

Many who live here are eligible for Section 8 housing vouchers.

They say this crime makes it dangerous to walk outside at night.

“You can definitely be hit by a bullet any time, any day you live in Wedgwood,” said the resident, who asked that we not use her name out of concern for her safety.

The Columbus City Council voted Monday night to approve a $44,800 contract extension for ShotSpotter.

This technology, unlike security cameras that monitor the facility, alerts police in real time to any gunshots and is expected to increase police response.

“I think it’s a good idea. It’s definitely not going to change anything, especially if we don’t get rid of the people who are doing it, who are the cause of the problem,” said the resident, who did not want her name used.

The property manager told 10TV he spent thousands of dollars on security cameras and hired a Columbus police officer to patrol the property. He says the safety issues in Wedgwood start with the justice system.

“The problem is that judges and the justice system are not keeping criminals off the streets. I am very disappointed. Adding ShotSpotter will help. What is happening at Wedgwood is not a simple decision. Keeping criminals off the street is 75% of fixing it,” said Jim Harrington, executive vice president of Independent Management Services.

Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein disagreed that the problems at Wedgwood go beyond security enhancements.

“There is no single fix that will solve all the problems Wedgwood faces overnight. It will use all of the above approaches that bring everyone to the table—property, residents, the city, community partners and our justice system,” Klein said.

Klein said Wedgwood’s owners are responding to the city’s demands by adding security cameras and working with the Columbus Police Department, but more can be done in the justice system.

“I have said all along that we need to overhaul our juvenile justice system for the small number of juvenile offenders who pose a threat to themselves and others. And we also need the city to come in and install a ShotSpotter, and Wedgwood to continue to improve lighting and limit entry and exit, and for residents to say something if they see something,” Klein said.

Meanwhile, as someone who lives in this 700-apartment complex, it’s hard to say anything good about living here.

“It’s dangerous. It’s ugly. I mean, I can’t say enough bad things about it,” Harmon said.

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