0 Comments · Wednesday, February 5, 2014
City officials announced an initiative that promises to put more cops on the streets, focus on “hot spots” of crime, restart the gang unit and do more to reach out to youth.
by German Lopez
Posted In: News
at 10:17 AM | Permalink
Proposal shifts enforcement to overtime, hot spots and youth outreach
City officials on Monday announced a new public safety
initiative that promises to put more cops on the streets, focus on “hot
spots” of crime, restart the gang unit and do more to reach out to
The comprehensive plan comes after a rough start to the
year, with homicides and violent crime ticking up even as the weather
Among other initiatives, the plan will add more cops on
the ground through new hires, more overtime and a new recruit class — the first since 2008.
“The message to people is that help is on the way,” Mayor John Cranley said.
The plan will come at higher costs to an already-strained
operating budget. Cranley said the Cincinnati Police Department set
aside nearly $1 million for the proposal through June, while the remaining $5.6 million should be
funded in the city’s $370-plus million operating budget.
When asked whether initiatives like the one announced Monday will hurt the budget, Cranley reiterated his long-standing
position that public safety takes top priority in the city budget.
Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said the refocus
intends to prevent, not just solve, crimes. He acknowledged more cops alone
won’t end the city’s crime problem, but he argued increasing the level of evidence-based enforcement
— through new tactics supported by more cops on the streets — could
make a difference.
Cranley and Blackwell cautioned the results might not be
immediate, but they said it’s an important step to stop levels of crime
local residents are clearly unhappy with.
Hot spot policing carries a high level of
empirical support. In two different studies from Rutgers and the
Ministry of Justice in the Netherlands, researchers argued the strategy
doesn’t always displace crime; it can also prevent crime by deterring
and discouraging future incidents in hot spots and surrounding areas —
what researchers call a “diffusion” of benefits.But the concept also needs to be executed carefully. In
New York City, “stop and frisk” became a fairly unpopular type of hot
spot policing after some reports found the strategy targeted racial
makeups in neighborhoods more than levels of crime.Of course, better policing isn’t the only way to combat
crime. As two examples, lead abatement and ending the war on drugs could
prevent violence by reducing aggression and eliminating a huge source
of income for drug cartels.This story was updated to include more information from the city manager’s memo.