Police chief, city manager discuss recent audit

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Police Chief James Craig and city leaders held a press conference Monday morning to discuss an audit and review conducted for the Cincinnati Police Department.

"This is the time we have to look forward to positive changes that are occurring in the Cincinnati police department under new leadership," Mayor Mark Mallory shared.

The report was prepared by Strategic Policy Partnership. It was initiated in October 2011 to identify efficiencies and additional resources.

While Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig says they won't be implementing all of the recommendations, he says there are a number of changes they will be making including moving around officer positions and even eliminating some positions.

"The fact that we're eliminating positions, executive level positions is a cost savings," Chief Craig said.

"All of those things lend themselves very well to improving the way we police, saving money, being more efficient, and having the greater effect on our number one priority which is keeping the community safe," Mayor Mark Mallory said.

The 147-page report includes recommendations on community policing, patrol services, administrative and support services, addressing crime and disorder and managing performance.

"I think the one thing with this audit and with what the police chief is attempting to do is for the first time in a very long time; you see the potential for change and for a lot of positive," FOP president Kathy Harrell said.

Harrell says FOP members across all levels in the department appreciated having their voices heard during the audit process.

"The one thing the officers have seen with this chief is that their opinion does matter," Harrell said.

"We recognize that our police officers and civilian employees are our most important resources," Chief James Craig said.

According to the department, improvements have been organized into five major efforts.

1.  Emphasizing neighborhood policing efforts

2.  Improving the quality and effectiveness of investigations

3.  Redesigning the organizational structure

4.  Improving the CPD work environment

5.  Making better use of information technology

One of the most controversial aspects of the approved changes includes shifting 50 officers from special assignments like the D.A.R.E. program back onto neighborhood patrols.

"That does not mean we have given up the work we do with our youth in the city," Chief Craig said. "As you know, just last week we launched our City Camp, an initiative that we're really optimistic will bring about a change in our community."

"This is a very interesting change and I think the districts are going to benefit from it as well as the officers that are out there," Harrell said. "We'll see what happens but yeah, of course not everyone is happy."

City leaders are standing in support of the new audit.

"Public safety is and has to be our number one priority," Mayor Mark Mallory said. "You can't have a vibrant city, you can't have a growing city, you can't have an exciting city and a great place to raise kids if you don't have a safe city. So you have to put resources forward to make that a reality."

To view the entire report, click here.

Copyright 2012 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.