High crime rate could threaten bot­tom line in Colum­bus

Rome News-Tribune - - OBITUARIES - The As­so­ci­ated Press

COLUM­BUS — City lead­ers in Colum­bus are pay­ing at­ten­tion to the city’s crime rate, say­ing it could neg­a­tively af­fect ef­forts to at­tract com­pa­nies and cre­ate more jobs.

A group of con­sul­tants who select sites for com­pa­nies re­cently gave the com­mu­nity high marks for many as­pects of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, said Brian An­der­son, CEO of the lo­cal Cham­ber.

But they also told Colum­bus of­fi­cials that it could miss out on projects be­cause its crime num­bers are so high, The Colum­bus Ledger-En­quirer re­ported.

The con­sul­tants “gave us all good, high marks in many, many ar­eas, and then turned around and ba­si­cally said, ‘Your crime num­bers, if any­body does re­search on your com­mu­nity based on what they can get off the In­ter­net, you could get d-listed for projects be­cause your crime num­ber is so high,” An­der­son said.

“That was a wake-up call for the busi­ness com­mu­nity — that not only is this hurt­ing fam­i­lies, hurt­ing in­di­vid­u­als, cre­at­ing law en­force­ment and cost-to-city type of con­cerns, now we also know the num­bers them­selves could neg­a­tively im­pact our abil­ity to re­cruit com­pa­nies and more jobs to the com­mu­nity,” he said. “So we have to work on it if we’re go­ing to be com­pet­i­tive.”

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