Tough questions for the new Cincinnati Police Chief

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - In his first day as Cincinnati's police chief, it was a lot of smiles and shaking hands for Chief James Craig. But soon the Chief will need to address some of the city's biggest concerns.

"The crime around here and the drugs," said Jackie Sampson, Cincinnati resident.

Craig may have to battle those problems with fewer cops on the force.

FOX19 asked Craig about the proposal to eliminate at least 44 police officers.

"When I accepted the job I knew there was a budget situation," said Craig. "You know its a sensitive situation and one that I am very concerned about, but the city will remain safe, that I can assure you."

Craig says the first thing he's going to do is make an assessment of how the department is spending money, looking at the work schedule, overtime and analyzing if the department is duplicating services.

FOX19 also asked Craig about critics who say he doesn't have a grasp on the needs of Cincinnati.

"I have a grasp, a very strong grasp on policing in very diverse communities, whether it was Maine, 28-years in Los Angeles, starting in Detroit," said Craig. "I've been at this for 35 years and what I know going into my fourth police department, there are some consistencies, and partnership is number one.

"Those communities that have a good relationship with the police department are safe communities."

Some community members say someone from the outside is just what the city needs.

"I think a guy from Detroit and L. A. might understand Cincinnati better than Cincinnati," said Ozie Davis, Avondale resident. "The problems that we have are not necessarily our hometown ills."

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