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Chief: ‘Not typical’ to have 29 homicides in Cincinnati by April; pandemic could be factor

Posted at 3:23 PM, Apr 28, 2020

CINCINNATI — Homicides in the city have spiked 115% from this time last year, and the COVID-19 pandemic could be a factor in the increase, Chief Eliot Issac said.

To date, 28 people have been killed in Cincinnati this year, according to Cincinnati Police Department data. Of the people killed, 25 of them were shot.

“This is not typical. It is not typical to see 28 people killed in Cincinnati by April,” Isaac said.

Since Isaac said this during the city's law and public safety committee meeting Tuesday morning, a Vine Street shooting in Mt. Auburn killed one person, bringing the total to 29.

This time last year, there were 13 homicides in the city.

Although the pandemic is not the only factor in the increase of violent crime, Isaac said the pandemic has created new challenges when it comes to crime prevention.

The governor’s stay-at-home order means police can’t rely on members of the community for tips and information on crimes that occur.

“The partnership we share with the community, that’s a vital piece of everything we do,” Isaac said. “They act as our eyes and ears. People don’t realize how much we depend on the support of the community.”

Additionally, outreach workers aren’t able to walk around in neighborhoods and police officers are having less interaction with neighbors. Isaac said Cincinnati police officers aren’t able to conduct their normal community council meetings.

Cities that typically struggle with violent crime are struggling even greater during this pandemic, Isaac said, but the Cincinnati Police Department is working to adapt.

“This is something none of us have been involved in before. We’re all trying to find a way to move through this,” Isaac said.