Cincinnati Could Suspend UC Police Off-Campus Traffic Stops

Aug 3, 2015

The full Cincinnati Council will likely vote Wednesday on an ordinance that would, at least temporarily, stop University of Cincinnati police officers from making traffic stops off campus.

During the pause, the city's police department and UC will be re-working the agreement that have allowed such stops for several years.

Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said the two departments need to work together, especially in off-campus locations where many UC students live.

"I think we've seen some of the numbers that have come out that are quite alarming to me with the traffic enforcement that his team has been doing to Cincinnati residents," Blackwell said.  "And largely it appears to be minority residents that have borne the brunt of a lot of the enforcement activity.  Certainly we don't want that to continue."

The "his team" Blackwell refers to is University of Cincinnati Police Chief Jason Goodrich and the UC police department.

Law and Public Safety Committee chairman Christopher Smitherman said such a pause and review is warranted.

"You might sit around the table and say we're going to allow this enforcement to continue with these parameters,"  Smitherman said.  "You might say we're going to hold as we pass this ordinance that there isn't any need for this type of traffic enforcement.  We'll have to cross that bridge when we get there."

Former UC police officer Ray Tensing was making an off campus traffic stop when he shot and killed Samuel DuBose on July 19.

A Hamilton County Grand Jury indicted Tensing last week on a murder charge for the incident.  He was fired after the indictment was unsealed.