Thanks to donations from individual supporters and CME Federal Credit Union, we were able to feed Columbus Division of Police officers during the riots and protests. Since then, we've also fed 21 units/shifts across the city, hoping to show officers how appreciated they are while trying to keep morale up during difficult times. Yesterday we had the honor of taking items to the Homicide and Felony Assault Units. Because they're not organized like a precinct, we couldn't take them meals, but we loaded up on a bunch of snacks that we hope brought them a bit of joy.
One of our favorite Community Liaison Officers, Tim Mounts, who we worked with very closely on the South Side, has returned to working Homicide cases, so we baked oatmeal scotchies cookies to send him off. This move wasn't unexpected; he told us when he spoke at our Starfish meeting last November that he wanted to return to Homicide before he retired. We will miss him, but we know he's really needed in Homicide right now.
We say that because 2020 is on pace to be a record year for homicides in Columbus. According to Deputy Chief Tim Becker, there have been 85 homicides in Columbus this year. Year to date for previous years:
On Monday, 10TV's Lacey Crisp published a comparison of felonious assaults between 2017 and 2020. At this time in 2017, there were 516. This year there have been 759. Our Starfish volunteer, Jack Carlin, analyzed data from CPD's portal and social media and determined that in the first 10 days of August, there have been 67 victims of homicide/felony assaults.
You can see why it was impossible for us to gather these detectives together for a meal and why snacks became the only way we could show appreciation.
Despite this workload, these detectives still care very much about each case they take on. You can witness that for yourself in a press conference that Detective Scott Polgar gave today with the family of 19-year-old Miles Tolliver, who was killed in January.
Det Polgar's compassion is very evident in this press conference. In fact, midway through, when a reporter asks for his number again, the detective gives it and adds that there's a note on his desk instructing anyone to call him immediately if they're taking a message and it's about the Tolliver case. Det Polgar then says that he also asks everyone he interviews, regardless of what he's interviewing them about, if they know anything about the death of Miles Tolliver.
Later Det Polgar adds, "And sadly...Ms. Tolliver is 1/85 of this year's victims. You know, lots of grieving families out there. But, I can assure you that the officers that show up to the scene, and they do such a great job, plainclothes officers trying to work with the community, and the Homicide detectives, and I can promise you like I do all the time, and the community, we are really putting in the time, and...care about each case."
Ms. Tolliver says, "He is doing an awesome job for me. I really appreciate that. He is never short patience. He listens for however long I want to talk. He answers all my questions. I really, truly appreciate him."
We appreciate him, too. And we appreciate the rest of the Homicide and Felony Assault detectives. Thank you for what you do. We will come back anytime you need us; just let us know. It would be our honor.