Council woman says events call for extra security.
Putting more Citizens on Patrol on the streets of Cincinnati during city events could help prevent future violence, a councilwoman says.
The view east down Fifth Street during the Taste of Cincinnati downtown Saturday, May 24, 2014.
CINCINNATI -- Putting more Citizens on Patrol on the streets of Cincinnati during city events could help prevent future violence, a councilwoman says.
City councilwoman Amy Murray got the idea for added security after hearing crime reports from Taste of Cincinnati back in May, when police described the event as "general mayhem."
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"When we had the issue with the Taste of Cincinnati, and with some violence there, it made me think we need to have a 'Special Events' Citizens on Patrol Unit," Murray said. "If we have Citizens on Patrol maybe every other block on the perimeter of the fence, and that way you just have people who are visible."
Volunteers have populated the Citizens on Patrol program since 1997. Members are required to complete a 12-hour training program, then they receive gear and uniforms when they're called to work.
Murray wants to add a new group to the volunteer force - one that would cover special downtown events that draw an influx of people, especially on the weekends.
"We need citizens to be out here especially for our Special Events unit," Murray said. "So when we have Taste of Cincinnati, Oktoberfest, we can have people every other block in the perimeter with their blue jackets on, with the radios, just to have that added layer of security, in addition to what the police officers provide."
Murray sought help from the Cincinnati Police Department to draw up a report about the expansion, and to see if it could be considered. She expects to present it to council, but was unclear when that might happen.