Organizations working to help Cincinnati police solve 2020′s record homicides

Police records show there have been 90 murders in the city so far this year.
Updated: Dec. 17, 2020 at 10:00 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - It has been a violent year in the city of Cincinnati, based on new police data, but two organizations are working together to help reduce crime and solve cases.

Cincinnati police records show there have been 90 murders in the city so far this year. At least two homicides have been reported every month in 2020. The first one happened on New Years Day, while the most recent unfolded on Dec. 12.

Of those cases, police consider 67 percent of them closed. That means more than 30 cases are still being investigated.

For the heartbroken families of the victims, they are left waiting for answers.

“The crime has really been out of control,” Hope Dudley, CEO of U Can Speak For Me, said. “These are our mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters. The crime has to stop. We are burying too many of our youth.”

Dudley knows their pain, as a mother who lost her son to gun violence. Through her non-profit, U Can Speak For Me, she has created 2020 homicide posters that feature the faces of more than 80 of the lives lost this year.

“It should bring a clock to somebody’s head saying, ‘Hey we need to speak out. Did you see that flyer? All those people were murdered this year,’” Dudley said.

Dudley believes the burden is on the community to share information.

“The detective can’t investigate a case unless you come forward and give them a tip. The prosecutor can’t prosecute the case unless you come and testify,” Dudley said.

According to the CEO of the Greater Cincinnati chapter of Crime Stoppers, Gene Ferrara, anonymous tips do work. He says they have helped solve more than 285 crimes this year, with 14 of those being homicides.

“I can think of at least a half a dozen cases where we had young children killed by bullets that didn’t strike the person the shooter meant to hit,” Ferrara said.

Around the holidays, Dudley usually gets together with victims’ families to help them through a tough time, but because of the pandemic, she is giving them all photo buttons instead.

She is also now creating a flyer focused on only the unsolved murders of 2020, which will be put on the Crime Stoppers website.

“As the tips come in, crime will go down,” Ferrara said. “As we arrest people, there’s a lot of the same people committing these crimes.”

Anyone who shares information that helps police make an arrest could get up to a $2,500 reward from Crime Stoppers.

Ferrara said everyone, including inmates, can give completely anonymous tips through Crime Stoppers by calling 513-352-3040 or by using the website.

Crime Stoppers is all volunteer, per Ferrara, so it is run off of donations. Anyone who would like to can make a donation online.

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