New police chief to deal with increased murder rate

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati's new police chief, Jeffrey Blackwell, has a lot of work ahead of him, including reducing the city's murder rate.

If you compare the number of murders from 2011 to right now, they've jumped by 20% in stats released by the police department last week.

The story is a little different from 2012 to this year, however.  The city has seen a 54% increase in murders, from 35 in 2012 to 54 so far in 2013.

"Obviously, I'm troubled.  None of us likes the idea that we have homicides occur at all.  One is too many," said city councilmember, Wendell Young.

From 2012 to now, murders are up 54%.  But, rapes and robberies are down, and aggravated assaults are up slightly.

For one woman, she knows the homicide numbers all too well.

"I don't want another mother to have to go through what I went through," said Hope Dudley.

Dudley's son was murdered in a drive-by shooting in 2007.  She now runs UCanSpeakForMe Bookmarker, Inc.  Through posters and flyers, and helping victim's families, she's trying to get murder cases solved.

"It's a disease, or a virus, that's spreading around in our community.  But, we really can stop it if we work together," added Dudley.

Councilmember Wendell Young agrees.  The community needs to get involved, and now with a new police chief at the helm, comes new ideas.

"Sometimes you do things the same way over and over and over again, and you're not necessarily getting new results.  We have a new person, new ideas, fresh ideas, fresh eyes.  Let's see what we can come up with," Young told FOX19.

Dudley admits that the only way to cut these numbers is to work together and step up and say something if you know something.

"We really have to work with our city officials on this.  They need our help.  They really need our help," said Dudley.

When it comes to violent crimes, those are actually down 2% from 2012 to this year, so far.  There have been 33 less incidents, compared to the 1,955 this time last year.

To see the latest numbers from the Cincinnati Police Department, click here.

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