'When the killings stopped': The story of CeaseFire Columbus

Joel Oliphint
CeaseFire Columbus leaders Deanna Wilkinson, Frederick LaMarr, Cecil Ahad and Dartangnan Hill outside Family Missionary Baptist Church.

In 2010, a group consisting of an Ohio State professor, community activists and church leaders developed a program designed to curb violence in Columbus' at-risk neighborhoods.

These community leaders pitched Mayor Mike Coleman on the pilot program known as Ceasefire Columbus, but the city chose not to fund the initiative. Still, the group soldiered on with money from private donors and federal grants, and in a 40-block area in the 43206 zip code, CeaseFire Columbus made an impact: Between 2011 and 2014, shootings in that region dropped by 76 percent.

In the December issue of Columbus Monthly, at the tail end of the city's deadliest year ever for homicides, Dispatch columnist Theodore Decker tells the story of CeaseFire Columbus and what the short-lived experiment can teach a city that is fighting a losing battle against gun violence.

Decker's gripping feature, "CeaseFire Columbus: When the Killings Stopped," is online now and well worth your time.