UC officer tracking system bought in June, never implemented - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

UC officer tracking system bought in June, never implemented

(PHOTO: FOX19 NOW File) (PHOTO: FOX19 NOW File)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

An ongoing FOX19 NOW investigation into policing numbers from inside the University of Cincinnati Police Department has uncovered policing software that still isn’t in place today.

The system is called an “early warning system” and would have allowed UCPD administrators to see real time data tracking of all 72 UCPD officers. The system, according to Dr. Robin Engel, the university’s new Vice President of Safety and Reform, would “flag” officers whose ticketing and arrest conduct was “outside” of an established norm among other officers inside a department.

“It’s not widely known, but the University of Cincinnati Police Department had actually already purchased an early warning system in June,” Engel told FOX19 NOW. The university is still working to get that system up and running.

“We are simply going to accelerate and move this work forward,” Engel said.

Engel could not tell FOX19 NOW whether UC currently had a way to track who UCPD officers have pulled over, ticketed or arrested, “That’s a question for the University of Cincinnati legal department,” Engel said.

We started investigating UCPD’s traffic enforcement after former officer Ray Tensing shot and killed a man during a July 19 traffic stop. The shooting happened off campus after Tensing said he spotted a car without a front license plate.

UC got the rights to conduct off campus patrols stemming from a Dec. 19, 2013 agreement with the city of Cincinnati. The agreement allowed UCPD to conduct traffic stops inside Cincinnati Police jurisdictions; only if the stop was considered a “serious traffic violation” that could put life at risk.

FOX19 NOW filed an open records request with UC last month, asking for detailed traffic stop and ticketing information, but UC has not released that data to FOX19 NOW. The university did release traffic stop data to us, but later asked we not publish those records, claiming the data the university handed us was not accurate.

On July 31, UC’s legal department released a report compiled by Dr. Engel. That report contained yearly totals that UC compiled, but did not contain the specific information we requested under the Ohio Open Records Act. 

That report showed between Jan. 1, 2015 and July 19, UCPD tripled its traffic stop count when compared to all of 2013. During that same time, the number of white drivers stopped nearly doubled while the number of black drivers quadrupled.

Days after FOX19 NOW reported those numbers, the city of Cincinnati council’s Law Committee voted to suspend UCPD off campus patrols into CPD jurisdiction. 

Today, full council voted unanimously to end those patrols until the city can investigate UCPD’s traffic enforcement.

Engel did not have a timeline on how long it would take before the university fully installed the data tracking software inside the police department.

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