CPD Chief: Cincinnati off to 'difficult start' with gun violence

City sees deadliest January in recent history
Guns Cincinnati gun violence
Posted at 11:00 PM, Jan 25, 2022

CINCINNATI — Police Chief Eliot Isaac said Cincinnati is off to a "difficult start" just 25 days into the new year. Records show this month has been the deadliest January in recent history.

“My heart breaks for these families as I see and interact with them as well,” Isaac said. “It is horrible — horrible.”

Isaac met with Cincinnati City Council’s public safety committee Tuesday to discuss crime data from 2021. While violent crimes excluding homicide were down, the city has seen record-breaking shooting deaths in the past two years.

This time last year, police said there were two homicides. As of Tuesday afternoon, Cincinnati has had eight homicides.

Toledo Hill lost his brother Rique Robinson to gun violence in 2015. Since then, Hill has watched as homicides continue to increase.

"No one should have to experience it," Hill said.

Isaac said most of the city's homicides at this time stem from arguments.

“On the surface of things is the inability to solve conflict, but then it’s also the easy access of guns,” Isaac said. “When you drill down and you have to look at the deeper causes, you know, there’s so many social conditions in our communities that I think plague and impact these things. So, we need to look at gun crime from a holistic perspective.”

Isaac said officers confiscated 1,500 guns in 2021. Data shows the weeks and months when more guns were taken, there was a drop in the number of shootings.

Three hours after Isaac addressed the committee, police responded to a shooting in Avondale. CPD said officers were dispatched to the corner of Northern and Burnet Avenues after a man who was shot flagged down a stranger to drive him to the hospital.

Isaac said Avondale actually saw less gun violence in 2021 than in years past. His team credits investments.

Hill said he is opening a restaurant in Avondale with a unique focus.

“We actually envision that moment when we open the doors, and there’s kids everywhere coming in and they could just come in and sit down and feel safe in a place where, when we were growing up, it was like you don't want to be in that area,” said Hill. "The key is to invest in the people of the neighborhood, and I think the results will always follow."

Both Hill and police are watching to see if Avondale could become a guide for long-term change in Cincinnati.

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