neighborhood options for youth

Neighborhood Options for Youth (NOY) is an initiative aimed at reducing crime and increasing public safety in the Weinland Park neighborhood of Columbus. Developed through the Weinland Park Collaborative's (WPC) Public Safety Task Force, the initiative was designed in response to neighborhood input that illegal and intimidating behaviors of youth was one the largest safety concerns in the neighborhood.

NOY involves an innovative collaboration between select Columbus Police Department (CPD) special duty officers, therapists from Directions for Youth and Families, and probation officers from the Juvenile Courts. Youth involved in illegal and disruptive behaviors in Weinland Park, and their families, are given a choice between supportive therapeutic interventions designed to change or prevent disruptive behaviors or strict enforcement and accountability through the legal system. The goal is to help youth and families avoid involvement with the legal system where possible. Directions for Youth and Families staff provide behavioral and mental health interventions in the youth's home, school or neighborhood.

CPD special duty officers engage youth and their families, monitor youth activities, curfew, and hang out spots, and target adults in the area who involve youth in illegal activities. CPD officers are also available to assist participating landlords and residents address illegal and disruptive behaviors on and around their properties. This is a holistic neighborhood approach to crime reduction that can serve as a potential model for replication in other Columbus neighborhoods.