Blackwell: 'I am committed to remaining Police Chief of Cincinna - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Blackwell: 'I am committed to remaining Police Chief of Cincinnati'

Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell (Source: FOX19 NOW file) Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell (Source: FOX19 NOW file)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - How secure is Jeffrey Blackwell's job as police chief?

Published reports indicate resignation documents were drawn up, but Blackwell refused to sign and now the administration says they don't want him to go.

In a statement released Saturday night Blackwell assured everyone that he loved Cincinnati and he is committed to being the Police Chief of Cincinnati.

FOX19 NOW reached out to City Manager Harry Black who says Chief Blackwell did not offer to resign nor was his resignation asked for. 

Councilman Wendell Young says rumors of discord between the police chief and the administration go back to before John Cranley was even elected Mayor.

“When Cranley was becoming Mayor he asked that no police chief be named until he took office," said Young. "He wanted to be part of that hiring process and that administration ignored his request and appointed Jeffrey Blackwell and, again, the rumor mill is Cranley has never been happy about that. He wants his own chief.”

Mayor Cranley wasn't available for an interview, but provided this comment: “I do not want the chief gone. We're working together to reduce the recent spike in shootings. We should not let rumors distract us from this important work." 

Following yesterday's meeting with police officials city manager Harry Black was asked if he had confidence in Chief Blackwell.

“There's one person in the city that hires the chief and that can fire the chief and that's the city manager. I didn't hire the chief. I have no intentions of firing the chief. The chief is the chief, again, but what I tell him and just like I tell all my other department heads I'm focused on results.
As long as the results are there I'm happy and I'm satisfied,” Black said. 

Wendell Young says Blackwell has the support of the majority of council. 

“I know eight of us for sure. Maybe one who does not. I don't know when Cranley gets busy talking to people maybe those numbers can change,” Young said. 

FOX19 NOW reached out to Kathy Harrell, President of the local Fraternal Order of Police said she's raised concerns about communication problems with police administration, but she says those concerns have fallen on deaf ears.  

Harry Black says communication and cohesion have become issues. 

“How effectively are we working together. Are we communicating? Are we working effectively together. That's what cohesion is. I'm not say that there's a problem with that because there isn't a problem with that, but it's not where we would like it to be,” Black said.  
 
So how does the rank and file police officer feel about all this, FOP President Kathy Harrell tells me their biggest concern is the lack of manpower and she doesn't really care who is chief. 

Below is Chief Blackwell's full statement he made Saturday night:

"To the citizens of Cincinnati, I would like to thank everyone for their words of support and encouragement. I want to assure everyone that I love this City. I am the Chief and I am committed to remaining the Police Chief of Cincinnati.

In my nearly two years as Chief, I have worked hard to couple our crime-fighting strategies with a sense of community collaboration and engagement to address those quality of life issues that too often plague our city. I will continue to work on issues both internally and externally to address crime.

With that said, I need to minimize all the distractions that take my focus from making Cincinnati the safest city in America!

Lawlessness will not be tolerated and we will pivot with the necessary resources to address the criminal elements plaguing our community."

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