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Kasich pledges to help reduce crime

Published: Tue, February 8, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.


The Vindicator (Youngstown)

Gov. John Kasich came to YSU the day after the shooting that claimed the life of 25-year-old Jamail Johnson of Indiana Avenue.


Governor John Kasich


Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams


Chief Jimmy Hughes.

By David Skolnick



Gov. John Kasich agreed to requests from city and Youngstown State University officials aimed at reducing crimes such as the Sunday shootings near the campus.

But Kasich said, “I can’t tell you that any one of those things could have stopped this from happening, but I think all these things comprehensively can provide a greater sense of safety and security for people that live in this Valley.”

Kasich came to YSU on Monday, the day after the shooting.

The shooting occurred at an off-campus house about 3:40 a.m. Sunday. Of the 11 others shot, five are YSU students.

Before addressing the media, Kasich and members of his staff and cabinet met privately for about 75 minutes Monday with Mayor Jay Williams, Police Chief Jimmy Hughes, YSU President Dr. Cynthia E. Anderson, and YSU trustees and officials.

At that meeting, the city and YSU officials gave a list to Kasich of proposals to reduce crime. At the press conference after the private discussion, Kasich said he’d implement all of them.

They are:

Increase the presence of the Ohio State Highway Patrol as well as other law-enforcement agencies in the city. This has occurred a number of other times after horrific crimes have occurred.

Crack down on businesses that sell alcohol to those who are not of legal age. The Ohio Department of Public Safety and state Division of Liquor Control will handle that.

Police said several 17-year-olds were at the party. Williams and Kasich questioned why any 17-year-old would be at a party past 3 a.m. Though police described the group of people at the Indiana Avenue house as an after-party, Hughes said only one beer can was found at the scene.

“Was there drinking? I don’t know,” he said.

Create a land bank that would allow the city to obtain ownership of vacant parcels that are used, at times, for illegal activity. Mahoning County officials recently proposed a land bank.

Kasich and Williams also talked of changing state law to increase the prison sentence of those convicted of using a weapon on or near a school, university or house of worship.

Kasich suggested what would amount to an overhaul of the state penal system that would keep those in state prisons who commit “minor crimes” away from those in prisons for violent crimes.

“These steps may not have prevented this [incident] but will help prevent a sense of lawlessness,” Williams said after the press conference.

Kasich, who’s been governor for a little more than a month, said he wants to see results from what will be implemented to help reduce violence.

“These things have been talked about,” Kasich said. “What bothers me about talk is it is cheap.”

Kasich said he wants to develop a job-creation environment to give people in the Mahoning Valley hope and optimism. That would reduce crime, he said.

Anderson and Williams praised Kasich for coming to Youngstown to talk about the shootings and what could be done to reduce crime in the Valley. Kasich, in return, complimented the two for their response to the incident.

Williams said he “couldn’t be more impressed with” Kasich for coming to Youngstown so quickly after the shootings.


1timOthy(802 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

I believe that . He's going to be a part of it ! Just wait and see.

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2dmacker(498 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

I see no mention of cracking down on street gangs, by any of our elected officials.
It seems that had more to do with this than other measures they have discussed.
How would passing another law keeping guns farther from a school or church have prevented this shooting.
How would passing another law preventing criminals from possessing guns have prevented this shooting.
Both these laws are already on the books and they were violated and more.
Until we accept the fact that people place little value on human life. we are sooting blanks in our war on crime.

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3fcb(452 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Crime and murder is a way of life in Y-town and no new governor is going to stop it. It has to start with the parents when the children are young. There is no respect for life or authority from these children. Look at the high schools.Students hitting teachers,fighting in schools.Years ago when a teacher told you to do some thing you did it for FEAR of being sent to the principals office. Now they beat the hell out of the teacher. Good teachers will not come into the inter city to teach,and I don't blame them. I defy you to drive past a city high school .East,Chaney,ect when school is being let out.Try to drive down the street when it is full of kids walking down the middle of the street.Blow your horn for them to move over so you can pass and see what happens. good luck. A few years back a city councilman's wife tried it and the kids dragged her out of her car and beat her. She couldn't ran away because her wheel chair was in the trunk of her car. No,we have to teach them when they are young.

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4rumppy(119 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Guns, how do they get them? From gun shows. People who can buy them, sell them to the gangs. Change the gun laws. That is where the problem lies. If they didn't have access to bullets, what would happen? It is a known fact that all the gun totten folks are not the gangster. If they have records and cannot buy them, than how do they come across them. No, don't say they steal them all. Put the blame where it belongs. Gun shows, gun makers. And the people that sells them to the gangs for a handsome profit.

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