As central Ohio sees crime rates soar, one prosecutor is working to reign in police departments.

In a candid interview with WBNS, Franklin County Prosecutor Gary Tyack said his office is working to protect the African American community from police, and that it is focused on prosecuting police officers.

“We feel like it is our job to let the community know, especially the African-American community that they are not fair game for a police officer,” Tyack, who has been on the job for a year, told the news station.

Columbus has reached a record-high in murders in 2021.

Though he noted that “biggest problem is that the crime wave in Central Ohio doesn’t seem to be abating,” Tyack is focused on police misconduct.

“One of the big changes that our office (has) made is that we are willing to consider charging a police officer who shoots someone and shouldn’t have,” he said.

He’s also focused on diversity initiatives, including hiring a diverse staff of prosecutors to handle the cases of violent alleged crimes that are piling up.

“We have excellent staff, and we have excellent prosecutors, some of whom I have hired. I have added more African-Americans and other folks so we have a little more balance than what the office was before,” Tyack said.

The Franklin County Fraternal Order of Police and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to a comment request.

As of October, Columbus’ murder rate had grown a whopping 64 percent in 2021, growing faster than any major city in America this year.

It has already surpassed last year’s record number of homicides, which was set at 178.

By comparison, Chicago, which has become America’s murder capital, has only seen a 38 percent increase in its homicide rate in 2021.

Columbus Mayor Adam Ginter downplayed the increasing crime.

“I mean, I’d love to look at your statistics. There are lots of statistics. I just saw something the other day that had Columbus as the safest big city in the state. There’s lots of different ways to look at data. This is the issue, one homicide is too many,” he told WSBN. 

Watch the interview here.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Gary Tyack” by Franklin County Prosecutor G. Gary Tyack.