Shootings down nearly 50 percent in Cincinnati this year, police say

Posted at 5:53 PM, Mar 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-29 19:36:29-04

CINCINNATI -- By this time last year, there had been 108 shootings in Cincinnati. But as of Thursday, that number was down nearly by half for this year. 

There have been 56 shootings in Cincinnati so far in 2018, down 48 percent compared to March 29, 2017. Police Chief Eliot Isaac said reducing gun violence is one of the department's highest priorities. 

"This year we've seen some significant decreases, and I think it's something we should all be proud of," he said. 

The biggest success story is Avondale, where there have been just two shootings in the past three months, when historically there have been a dozen or more. 

"That speaks volumes to the amount of effort being put in Avondale right now between PIVOT, Neighborhood Enhancement program just kicked off, and of course ShotSpotter," Lt. Col. Paul Neudigate said. 

ShotSpotter uses microphones to hear the sound of a gunshot and allow police to respond, often before anybody can call 911. 

"Prior to the implementation, we were only responding to 15 percent of the gun incidents," Neudigate said. "We're responding to 100 percent of them now. That's got to tell the community how invested the police department is in their community."

Police are also using the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, which can trace bullets and shell casings back to a specific weapon, to produce big investigative leads. They're also partnering with other local, state and federal law enforcement to focus on priority offenders. 

"We do not cast a wide net. We have specific individuals that we know are causing harm, and we make every effort that we can to intercept them and the people that surround them," Lt. Col. Michael John said. 

Isaac said it's a combination of tactics and tools that is reducing shootings, but the most important one is interaction with the community.

"We want to continue to build upon this partnership," he said. "We need their help. We absolutely will not go further without their help. We need them to continue to support our efforts, continue to give us information and continue to be involved."

Going forward, the key will be to continue keeping shootings down as the calendar leads into the warmer summer months.