City Manager: If shooting spike continues, 'we've got a big prob - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

City Manager: If shooting spike continues, 'we've got a big problem'

Great American Ball Park will host the MLB All-Star Game on July 14 (Source: Ben Kakto, FOX19 NOW) Great American Ball Park will host the MLB All-Star Game on July 14 (Source: Ben Kakto, FOX19 NOW)
Top Cincinnati and police leaders meet Friday to try to get a handle on increase in shootings. (FOX19 NOW/Mike Buckingham) Top Cincinnati and police leaders meet Friday to try to get a handle on increase in shootings. (FOX19 NOW/Mike Buckingham)
City Manager Harry Black (FOX19 NOW/Gordon Graham) City Manager Harry Black (FOX19 NOW/Gordon Graham)
Cincinnati City Councilman Wendell Young (FOX19 NOW/Gordon Graham) Cincinnati City Councilman Wendell Young (FOX19 NOW/Gordon Graham)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Top city and police leaders met Friday morning to try to get a handle on a 10-year high in shootings.

City Manager Harry Black and City Councilman Wendell Young talked with Chief Jeffrey Blackwell and his command staff at District 1 headquarters. 

The session was closed to the media due to sensitive investigative nature of the shooting investigations.

After, Young told FOX19 NOW council expects results from police soon.

Blackwell said police already are devoting as many resources as possible to the spike in violence.

Black said if the increase continues for another month, he will be "panicked."

In a recent release, Black said that he is actively engaged with CPD to monitor and respond to the challenge of the recent spike in crime.  

“First of all I want to give kudos to our hard working police department who are focused on ending this spike in shootings and fatalities. This type of behavior is senseless and not to be condoned.

I have been meeting regularly with the leadership of the Police Department. They have demonstrated they have the strategies, tactics and resources in place to address these issues, which in most cases appear to be targeted acts of violence.

Ensuring public safety is a top priority of this administration. Like every other City department, I measure the success of the police department's performance on results and outcomes. They are, and will continue to be held accountable for keeping crime down.

Many public comments have been made about internal communications challenges within the police department. I am aware of these issues and can assure you they will be dealt with. I am confident that the Police Chief will assert the appropriate leadership needed to improve the situation.

We have an exciting summer on tap full of festivities. The City is growing and I sense there is a tremendous amount of optimism around town. We are looking forward to the All-Star Game and view it as a phenomenal opportunity to showcase Cincinnati and its people. Cincinnati will be at its best. We look forward to surprising and delighting all those who will visit us this summer,” said Black, in a release.

The rash of violence comes as hundreds of thousands are expected Downtown for this summer's Major League Baseball's Midsummer Classic.

Great American Ball Park is hosting the July 14 All-Star Game. 

"The city is doing very well,” Mayor John Cranley said earlier this week.
 
But a report from the University of Cincinnati says shootings in the city have hit a 10-year high.  

As of May 24, 199 people have been shot in the past six months, according to a report by the University of Cincinnati Institute of Crime Science. That's more shooting victims in a six-month time frame than any year in the past decade.
 
"I'm worried about people not getting killed and for neighborhoods being safe,” Cranley said.

Downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods will host All-Star Game crowds expected to swell to hundreds of thousands.  
 
"The visitors to this city during All-Star week will have a safe and fun time,” said Kevin Flynn, who sits on Cincinnati city council.

Flynn is on the city's law and public safety committee.  As violence and shootings across the city are soaring as of late, how does the city plan to protect them all?
 
He says there are plans in place to keep crime down, and visitors from becoming victims while they are in town in July.
 
"Council has devoted significant extra resources so that there will be significant police visibility over time,” Flynn said.
 
Cranley says the city will aggressively fight the jumping numbers.
 
"Overall, our city is safe.  But, we have an unacceptable spike in violence right now,” Cranley said.
 
The spike is something city brass say they won't ignore with a bit more than 45 days to go until pro baseball's big summer show.
 
"I want to bring the shootings down to try to stop the killing and to make our city safer.  Certainly that's true whether we have the
All-Star Game or not,” Cranley said.
 
Cranley says 90 cops have been added to the force in the last year, and more overtime has been made available to fight crime in hot spots. 

He tells FOX19 NOW that police will get all the tools they need to bring the numbers down, and he has been meeting with police to address the issue.
 
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