CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati police are making changes to save money and focus more on public safety.
Many of the changes announced during a Wednesday afternoon press conference include procedural steps to better handle things such as minor traffic accidents and alarm calls.
Interim Police Chief Humphries said the changes are crucial steps to ensuring resources are used in the best way possible.
He said the changes will give them more time to catch violent criminals, prevent violence, work with young people and focus on neighborhood quality of life issues.
Humphries also said the department needs to free up time for officers to work on the most serious crimes, like the triple shooting that happened Tuesday evening at 13th and Walnut streets in Over-the-Rhine.
The new policies include changing the definitions of various accidents, like minor and substantial. That will save time on paperwork and investigations, according to Humphries.
Part of the reason for the changes is connected to the findings of a recent study that looked at how officers spend their on-duty time.
According to the study, an officer can spend upwards of an hour and a half on a minor traffic accident, one that doesn't involve injuries or significant damage to a vehicle.
In 2012, minor accidents took up nearly 18,000 staff hours, according to the report.
Humphries also said officers will have more authority to declare a false alarm after the study found that 70 percent of all alarm calls are false alarms.
Alarm companies will now have to call two phone numbers to get a hold of a homeowner before calling police, according to Humphries.
What are your thoughts on the changes? Do you think these are improvements to community policing or just ways to cut back on spending?
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