Revamped plan to cut Cincinnati violence cuts curfew centers - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Revamped plan to cut Cincinnati violence cuts curfew centers

Cincinnati's revamped anti-violence plan was released Thursday. (FOX19 NOW) Cincinnati's revamped anti-violence plan was released Thursday. (FOX19 NOW)
Chief Jeffrey Blackwell pictured with children in a shot that appeared on the cover of the original anti-violence plan. (FOX19 NOW/file) Chief Jeffrey Blackwell pictured with children in a shot that appeared on the cover of the original anti-violence plan. (FOX19 NOW/file)
Chief Jeffrey Blackwell, City Manager Harry Black and Mayor John Cranley (FOX19 NOW/file) Chief Jeffrey Blackwell, City Manager Harry Black and Mayor John Cranley (FOX19 NOW/file)

Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell released a revamped plan Thursday to try to reduce violent crime over the next three months.

The plan, prompted when shootings hitting a 10-year-high, was delayed last month in the aftermath of the first Cincinnati officer to die in the line of duty in 15 years.

Several parts of the original plan remain intact, but two of the more controversial ones were dropped:

  • an "off-day" group schedule to help put extra officers on the street
  • a curfew crackdown that required officers to take youth violating the city's curfew to two recreation centers for counseling and other assistance.

City Manager Harry Black is "fully supportive of the plan and officers," a police department spokeswoman wrote in a prepared statement.

"We are not sitting on our hands waiting to take action," the statement read. "The chief and his command staff deserve credit for their quick work in putting this together. This is a solid plan and does not represent a radical departure from how we have come to know policing in Cincinnati. It builds upon our principles of strong community partnership and using data to strategically target and inform our efforts. As a city, we are in this together. We will not rest in our efforts to reduce all kinds of crime.”

Kathy Harrell, police union president, blasted the original plan. She said it would have put less officers on the streets some days to make up for a surge of officers on others.

She also had "grave concerns" about the curfew centers and said officers were relieved to see those removed.

Harrell called this version an improvement.

"Whether or not the plan will work, I can't say," she said. "But what I can say is there is strength in numbers. There are additional officers out in the districts, more visible. I think that could possibly make a difference, yes."

The plan, city and police officials say, incorporates initiatives to accomplish five overarching goals:

  • reduce shootings citywide; hold overall violent crime including homicides, rapes, robberies, and shootings to a 10 percent reduction over the past three years.
  • assist the Cincinnati Recreation Commission and parks department by providing safe play environments during the summer months 
  • provide greater human assets throughout the summer to not only focus on shootings and violent crime, but also to enhance district staffing levels that provide for overall better service and call response times city-wide
  • enhance C.I.R.V. (Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence) capacity to reduce gang violence.

The following strategies remain in the plan:

  •   Youth Services personnel and quality of life officers will be combined and patrol parks and playgrounds 
  •   change 2nd shift hours with later start times.
  •   reduce non-relief assignments to support 25 to 30 more officers to increase street strength.
  •   enforce strict casual leave rules at the district level.
  •   district captains will be required to work two evenings per week.  Each captain is required to assign four officers (two teams of two) to      walking patrols in identified hotspots on 2nd and 3rd relief for a minimum of four hours.
  •    The Gang Unit will work closely with district violent crime squads to focus on group and gang crime with an emphasis on gun reduction efforts.  
  • every gun arrest will be de-briefed and referred to Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives for follow-through where appropriate. 
  • district captains will meet every morning to  discuss operational strategies.
  •      Citizens on Patrol will be asked to assist enforcement/watch efforts on each district at least 4 days per week.
  •      the chief’s office personnel will be in uniform and assist walking patrol efforts 3 nights per week in hot spots or identified gathering locations.
  • National Night Out concept to be followed in the formulation of “Cincinnati Night Out:" community cook-outs/festivals/peace rallies to be held on July 22 followed by the official National Night Out on August 4.

City Manager Harry Black said officials are listening to community input and will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the program.

Copyright 2015 WXIX. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly