Police chief and clergy meet to discuss ways to reduce violence

Chief and Clergy.

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Members of Cincinnati's faith community meet with the police chief Thursday evening to discuss ways to reduce violence as well as increase opportunities for young people with low incomes. The initiative also aims to help ex-offenders returning to society.

Rev. Ennis Tate who pastors The Church of The Living God says the goal of this collaboration is to enhance the ability of the police and the clergy to achieve their ultimate outcome which is keeping the peace. "The church will have a much stronger presence because we understand peace, we understand what it takes to bring about peace."

Rev. Tate says the faith community will become more proactive in the community. "We're going to have people walking the streets, we're going partnering with community councils who are currently doing different initiatives. We're going to be partnering with police."

Police chief James Craig says its a partnership he's looking forward to especially when it comes to dealing with ex-offenders. "Its important because we need to make sure they understand when they come back into our neighborhoods what our expectations are and that there is hope for them. So this is all designed to bring about a change and the clergy plays a key role in that."

Margaret Fox with the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati or MARCC says the clergy can help ex-offenders with housing. "If someone re-entering the community can find housing within the first 30 days the recidivism rate goes way down and they become much more successful in rebuilding their lives."

Fox says Ceasefire Cincinnati will be expanded because of its success in combating youth violence. "If young people are in school, if they are being taught skills even after high school that improves their employment prospects. If they are well housed that they are going to do a lot better in the community."

Police commanders will be meeting regularly with the clergy in their districts to make sure the initiative stays on track.

Police chief James Craig says he's confident the program will work because he's seen similar cities he's worked in.

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