Despite 3 homicides in September, Cincy crime is down

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email|Facebook

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The City of Cincinnati is tallying up the number of homicides this year.

The summer started with eight homicides in eight straight days. The number for the entire year stands at 43 right now, just one off from this time last year.

Three of those homicides have taken-place in just the first two weeks into September. The City's Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV) is determined to keep the number of people killed down for the remainder 2010.

At an internal meeting Wednesday, the City's Police Relations Manager, Greg Baker, will go over the very latest stats since CIRV began in 2007.

There has been a 31-percent reduction in group-involved homicides. Police said less than 3/10ths of one-percent is causing the majority of all the problems and they're going after those chronic offenders.

There is a large arrow on Baker's computer screen that shows what was a 300-percent growth in homicides from 1999 to 2006.

"This is in 2006," he said, pointing to the screen. "Where Cincinnati had a record high of homicides of 89."

Then, in 2007, the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence began and the whole mind-set behind crime-fighting took a permanently different turn.

"Focusing on those elements that are creating the majority of the problems," Baker said. "We've identified it's less than 3/10ths of one-percent is causing 75-percent of the problems."

That means only 3/10ths of all the people in Cincinnati are involved, either as a suspect or a victim, in 75-percent of the city's homicides.

That's roughly 1,700 individuals, which police said are a highly active group of chronic offenders, responsible for nearly three-quarters of the city's violent crimes.

"Individuals that participate in groups or gangs," Baker said.

The number of homicides dropped to 68. But 2006 also had some grim numbers.

"Might be a little bit surprising when you see it's almost at 20 times higher chance that an African American male in Over-The-Rhine would be a victim of homicide," he said, as compared to less than three and a half times in other parts of the city.

"These are groups of individuals that are loosely affiliated, they don't have the alliances, the associations, with the more mature gangs that you would see in New York, Chicago or LA," Baker said.

He praised groups like "Who Killed Our Kids", who regularly march through neighborhoods where victims of violent crimes have taken place.

"Police can't do it all," Baker said. "We have to partner with community members."

So, a 31-percent reduction in group-involved homicides since 2007. Before CIRV, the city averaged 4.2 homicides every month. After CIRV, the city averaged a little more than two each month.

Their key message is, "The Violence Must Stop".

With law enforcement pairing-up with social service agencies and neighborhood groups, it looks like they are making a dent, in the city's violent crimes.

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