Police ask judges for ‘hard posture’ as violent crime spike continues

Police chief, FOP call on local judges to help reduce violent crime

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Cincinnati Police Department says homicides have doubled during the coronavirus pandemic as compared to the same time period in 2019.

Data compiled by the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence paints a similar picture.

As of April 17, according to CIRV, there were 102 shootings in the city, 21 fatal and 91 non-fatal. In less than a month, those numbers have jumped to 29 fatalities and 120 non-fatal shootings.

The most recent fatal shooting occurred Wednesday, when police say a woman was shot and killed in Winton Hills.

Measures announced last week are making a difference, says CPD Chief Eliot Isaac.

The newly formed Gun Crime Task Force, for example, has taken 27 illegal weapons off the streets in just 10 days of operations, and 140 such guns have been confiscated so far this year.

But after a particularly bloody month, CPD and the Fraternal Order of Police are now calling on judges to help out by setting high bonds for violent offenders.

“The police are locking up bad guys, and the sheriff is ready to hold them at the jail,” FOP President Sgt. Dan Hils said in a briefing Thursday.

According to Hils, it’s the criminal justice system that needs to step up.

“Since May 4, there have been over a dozen offenders released on low or OR bonds,” he said.

Isaac also spoke at the briefing.

“We also stand here together today to ask all members of our criminal justice system to join us in taking a hard posture on those who enact violence on our communities,” he said.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters issued a statement on the subject Thursday afternoon:

"I understand and share in the FOP's concern and frustration with violent offenders being released on low bonds. Those in the community who advocate for the release of violent repeat offenders are just plain wrong. Violent repeat offenders will continue to re-offend and wreak havoc in our community.

I am fine with low level non-violent offenders being released on low bonds. However, I instruct my assistants to ask for high bonds for those defendants charged with a serious crime, who have a prior record and who have weapons or prior weapons charges. This type of defendant needs to be locked up and we have room at the Justice Center to accommodate them."

Meanwhile, Isaac is continuing to ask for those who see something to say something.

“We continue to ask the community to join us, to call CrimeStoppers, to use our mobile app, to give us anonymous tips when needed," he said. "Be a presence in your neighborhoods again.”

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