Cincinnati Police

Michael E. Keating


Michael Keating

Despite back-to-back shooting incidents downtown this week, shootings and violent crime remain down in Cincinnati compared to last year.

Chief Jeffrey Blackwell says police are stepping up patrols throughout the summer anyway to make sure people feel, and are, safe downtown.

"We're going to have a comprehensive incident command-based plan as we move forward to address every weekend event that we have from now through Labor Day and beyond even through Oktoberfest," says Blackwell.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Cincinnati has 19 new police officers. The department's first class of lateral transfer recruits in more than six years was sworn in today. The officers all came from other Ohio agencies but still had to go through the city's training process. Chief Jeffrey Blackwell calls today's graduation exciting.

The new officers will hit the ground running with their first duty assignment working the Cincinnati Reds game on Saturday. They'll be paired with field training officers on Sunday and begin working in their assigned districts.

The barricades on McMicken Street to reduce prostitution are scheduled to be in place for about another month, but some residents want them to be removed now. 

Vanessa Sparks of the Mohawk Area Development Corporation told Cincinnati City Council's Law and Public Safety Committee this morning that the barricades are placing a burden on the neighborhood's residents.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Cincinnati Police didn't have too far to go to begin round one of a crackdown targeting gang members allegedly dealing drugs and guns in East Price Hill.

The SWAT team executed a search warrant at 3216 Warsaw, diagonal from District Three Police Headquarters, where two shootings happened last weekend. That was just the beginning.

By 2:00 Tuesday police say they had arrested 14 of the 29 people wanted.  One involved a car chase into Kentucky.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

The numbers point to a safer Cincinnati, but the perception for many is that some neighborhoods still aren't. Just today District Three Police Captain Dan Gerard took members of the Board of Realtors on a tour of Price Hill, where crime is at its lowest in ten years.

Mark Heyne / WVXU News

Two special services are planned Monday to remember fallen local police officers. The first one begins at Fountain Square at 11:00 am. There family and friends of current and past officers will gather. They will then march to the police memorial across from District One Police Headquarters.

Fraternal Order of Police President Kathy Harrell says this is the same day another police class is starting. These are officers transferring from other parts of Ohio to Cincinnati. There are 23 of them and the class will last ten weeks.

Provided / City of Cincinnati

Mark Heyne / WVXU News

Cincinnati Police said they've arrested 15 people and taken 11 weapons off the streets so far as part of an ongoing investigation of gang-related violence in the West End.  The effort represents four months of investigative work by various law enforcement agencies as part of the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence, also known as CIRV. 

"We want to send a loud and clear message that we do not accept homicides; we do not accept violent behavior," said Mayor John Cranley at a press briefing Thursday.

Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police President Kathy Harrell had a blunt message for city council about police department staffing.

“We’re at the point right now that officers out on the street lives are in jeopardy,” Harrell said.  “I’m going to get a lot of slack for saying that, but I don’t care.  They’re out there with 187 less officers.”

Harrell testified Tuesday before Council's Law and Public Safety Committee.  

Without new officers, the department could be down 267 officers by the end of 2015.  Harrell said something has to change.