COLUMBUS: Residents in a central Ohio city have launched a community-based effort to fight crime after a spike in killings this year.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Whitehall residents Zach and Stephanie Wishon recently started an organization they hope will get people focused on getting rid of crime in their city.

Whitehall has seen eight slayings this year. Nine people were killed in the city from 2010 to 2014.

The Wishons formed Standing Together Against Crime and say they hope they can convince residents to start talking about what they see and hear. They’re also trying to reactivate block watch groups that had been disbanded.

But Police Chief Richard Zitzke says he doesn’t think the killings are a trend and says the community should keep the homicide rate in perspective.