Cincinnati police light up troubled spot downtown

CINCINNATI -- Police are lighting up a spot in Cincinnati that recently came troubled by back-to-back shootings, in an effort to deter crime and remove the shadows.

The new tactic began Friday night, which police hope will make people feel safer in and around Piatt Park. Three people were shot, one fatally, within two days of violence at the park located at Garfield and Vine streets.

Cincinnati police set up light fixtures in their campaign to take back downtown. During the week, police beefed up their presence to send a message to businesses and residents that they can feel safe.

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"One of the biggest components of leasing office space is making sure the tenants are safe," John Gabriel, Jr., president of Vulcan International Corporation said. "Every so often, a tragic event happens, like we've had this week, and I think it tends to shake the foundation of the tenants a little bit, but I'm thrilled to see police are taking measures to mitigate some of that."

Friday night and through the weekend, thousands of people will be downtown for the Bunbury Festival and baseball games. More officers will be on hand, following a recent decision Chief Jeffrey Blackwell made to cancel vacation time for officers on big event weekends.

Gabriel feels the additional lights, as well as police officers will help ensure safety during the upcoming busy days in Cincinnati.

"Every so often when there is a problem here it's nice for the police to show us some attention," he said. "In this case, not only are they providing additional lighting on a big downtown weekend where there's a major music festival, home Reds game and other additional events, they're bringing in additional police forces, some you see, some you don't see."

"If you're a criminal, you don't want to go where it's lit. You want to go where it's dark."

Rebecca Conley is glad the lights have been posted up, and she looks forward to their success.

"I think it may work," she said. "I mean, it's a good idea, really."

Barry Thomas also favors the new lights, and thinks people shouldn't feel scared to come to Cincinnati.

"I'm glad they're doing it because the people from the suburbs are afraid to come down and with more (police) presence, they may not be," he said.

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