Cincinnati Police Launching Anti-Crime Initiative

Feb 1, 2016

The Cincinnati Police Department is rolling out a new strategy for fighting violent crime.  

Officers will still focus on repeat offenders, but will now also target places where the crimes occur.  The new strategy uses the 'crime triangle' of offender, place and victim.  The new strategy is called P.I.V.O.T., or Place-based Investigations of Violent Offender Territories.

The department said crime is concentrated in a very few places.  

Police Chief Eliot Isaac said the city used to rely on code enforcement to go after these crime hotspots.

"Now we are looking at locations that contribute to violent crimes, and we're going to hold them accountable criminally," Isaac said.  "If that means federal charges, state charges, whatever we're able to do, we will pull every lever that we're able to."

The department has identified about 20 hotspots that need attention, mostly gas stations.  

Police Captain Maris Herold said it involves things before and even after a criminal event.

"We are now just seeing how these 'journey of crime events' occur in these violent locations," Herold said.  "If we can see it, and we can map it, and we can understand it, we can disrupt it.  And that becomes the powerful part."

Police will work to disrupt criminal activities and make sure they don't return.

The department has a seven-step process for focused deterrence involving repeat offender:

  • Identify the problem.
  • Organize your team.
  • Identify violent group/gang members.
  • Direct engagement/deliver core message.
  • Deliver promises/consequences.
  • Engage the community.
  • Measure and repeat.

The placed-based investigations will focus on four steps:

  • Select long-standing (persistent) violent locations.
  • Investigate networks of contributing proximal places and prolific offenders.
  • Disrupt these networks through a coordinated, city-sponsored effort.
  • Monitor and sustain crime reductions by building/victim/resident/business resiliency.

The department expects police officers to "buy in" to the new strategy because it relies on familiar investigative processes and lets officers be natural investigators.

It will also be a focus at all levels of the police department from captains down to street officers.

The police department will work on implementing the new strategy. Most of that work should be completed by the end of February.