Cincinnati PD increasing presence for Macy's Music Fest
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -
Cincinnati Police say they plan to add 45 to 50 additional officers onto the streets of downtown for the Macy's Music Festival.
They say increased police presence is standard practice for any large event.
"There's something comforting about that," Christopher Smith said. "Whether you need them or not."
"I think there's something to be said for just seeing an officer around," Heather Melcher added.
People living and working in the downtown area say they noticed the change in police presence following the World Choir Games.
"It's visibly been heightened in the last week or two," Quinn Kummer told FOX19
"We did pull officers from all of the districts," Cincinnati Police Department Captain Kim Frey told FOX19. "We had many, many thousands of visitors here from all over the world."
Many resident say they cannot help but notice the change in police presence since the games ended.
"It seems to have died down since the Choir Games," Melcher said.
"We do put as many cops out on the streets as we can," Capt. Frey said. "We always try to have a large presence downtown."
While everyone said they felt safe downtown, they recognized like any big city there are added concerns when the sun goes down.
Cincinnati Police say they put additional officers out at night downtown and that hotels and bars also hire additional details at night, but not everyone believes more officers give the feeling of safety.
"Down on Fountain Square white folks say ‘Oh, I feel safe' well they should feel safe, there's no crime down there basically," argued Robert Pace. "But go into some of these other neighborhoods where the police presence is to police them."
"Some people will feel that. I can understand. I can see both ways. But the choir games in a great example," Smith shared. "They were everywhere but I didn't feel overly policed at all."
"Perception can go on a person by person basis," argued Jamal Nicholson. "Me, I feel a sense of safety."
"We never want anyone to feel policed," Frey emphasized. "We just want them to feel that we are here as a resource for you. If you need anything we're here to help you."
Everyone noted the relationship between police and citizens has improved.
"I think they're a little more people friendly than say, in the past," Smith said.
"I think they have improved but there's a long way to go," Pace acknowledged.
"Will I tell you this is it and we're not looking for ways to get better? Absolutely not," Frey said. "We always want to improve what we do and how we're perceived and we work on that every day."
Frey says the department sends the large majority of their downtown officers out on bikes, Segways or out on foot to be more accessible to the public.