Smitherman, Winburn propose additional $300,000 to fight crime

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A new motion introduced in Cincinnati City Council Thursday is aiming to help fight unsolved murder cases. Councilmen Chris Smitherman and Charlie Winburn want $3000,000 allocated to fund the initiative which would increase awards to entice citizens to cooperate in solving murders.

"We have to send a message that when you murder somebody, we will find you. We will catch you. We will convict you. And we will put you under the jail, " said Smitherman on Tuesday. Winburn was also unavailable for comment Thursday.

The motion is asking the administration to outline details of the source of funds. Of the 70 murder victims in Cincinnati last year, all but three were African American males.

Community leaders say the black-on-black violence has got to stop. "people are beginning the galvanize and mobilize around reduction of homicides and reduction of violence in our streets," said Reggie Brazzile, program manager of the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV).

Chris Finney, the attorney for COAST, a taxpayer watchdog group is not opposed to spending public money on fighting crime but says someone needs to keep an eye on things. "They need to be monitored to make sure the money is going to actually solve crimes," said Finney.

Crimestoppers and CIRV are expected to receive most of the additional funding and Finney suggest a one-year trial run may be the way to go. "Make sure there's actually a return on that investment. They should be auditing it, you know, at the end of the year we spend $300,000 for crime rewards. Did we actually get convictions out of that? did we solve crimes or was it a wasted effort?", asked Finney.

City council is holding a special session Monday to discuss black-on-black crime in Cincinnati.

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