CINCINNATI - A year ago, Cincinnati looked like the Queen City of the Wild West.
Shootings and gun crimes were up, and Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell was about to get run out of Dodge.
A year later, there's a new chief in town, and shootings and gun crimes are down year over year from Jan. 1 to May 21 with Eliot Isaac in charge, according to crime statistics from the Cincinnati Police Department.
Mayor John Cranley called the numbers "historically low."
> Shooting victims are down 19 percent (from 161 to 130) with Districts 4 and 5 showing dramatic drops.
> Gun crimes are down 12 percent (from 741 to 631).
> Violent crimes are down 5 percent (from 822 to 777).
In fact, crime in Cincinnati is down in almost category.
"The first and most important reason is the leadership change we made in the fall - putting Chief Isaac in place," Cranley said.
SEE the crime report here or below.
Some numbers of note:
Shootings and gun crimes:
> Gun homicide victims are the same (25).
> Aggravated assaults with a gun are down 17 percent (146 to 121).
> Robberies with a gun are down 15 percent (from 267 to 226).
> One category has gone up. Burglaries with a gun are up 27 percent (from 30 to 38).
City leaders say the numbers are promising as we head into summer.
"We're on the right course and we just need to stay the course," said Rev. Peterson Mingo.
Mingo, who works with the Cincinnati Human Relations commission outreach program, attributes lower crime to several police programs geared at curbing violence. He specifically cited Isaac's crime plan, PIVOT, or Place-Based Investigations of Violent Offender Territories,
Isaac's plan helped reverse an increase in shootings in the first two months of the year before PIVOT took effect.
"We've seen the results of it. Neighborhoods are more peaceful. Overall, I think we're in for a pretty peaceful summer," Mingo said.
Shootings went up in January and February from 42 in 2015 to 49 this year. At the time, police leaders said their place-based strategy would make headway against violent crime. PIVOT uses data-driven evidence to identify violent locations in the city and disrupt the networks of people who use those locations to perpetuate crime.
Has it worked?
Since March, there have been 40 fewer shooting victims for the same period last year (down from 121 to 81).
District 3, which moved its station to Westwood last fall, has the most shootings this year but still has shown a decrease with 43 - down from 45 last year (a 4.4 percent drop).
Shooting totals do not include police shootings, and homicide totals do not include vehicular homicides.
> All homicides are up a total of one (from 25 to 26).
> Rape is down 11 percent (from 99 to 88).
> Robbery is down 4 percent (from 451 to 433).
> Aggravated assaults are down 7 percent (from 247 to 230).
> All property crimes are down 10 percent (from 5,968 to 5,389).
> Burglaries and breaking and entering are down 15 percent (from 1,575 to 1,345).
> Thefts from autos are down 15 percent (from 1,273 to 1,079).
> Personal/other theft are down 5 percent (from 2,742 to 2,597).
> Auto theft is down 3 percent (from 378 to 368).
Where's the most crime?
District 3, which moved its headquarters from East Price Hill, has the most violent crime and the most property crime, although property crime is down 18 percent and violent crimes are statistically the same as last year.
Elsewhere, violent crime is up in District 5, and property crime is up in District 1, and both types of crime are up in the Central Business District.
Here's a breakdown that shows violent crime and property crime in each district:
> District 1: Violent crime down 6 percent (107 to 101); Property crime up 22 percent (494 to 604).
> District 2: Violent crime down 21 percent (81 to 64); Property crime down 5 percent (972 to 924).
> District 3: Violent crime no change (245 to 244); Property crime down 18 percent (2,011 to 1,643).
> District 4: Violent crime down 19 percent (239 to 194); Property crime down 7 percent (1,095 to 1,018).
> District 5: Violent crime up 15 percent (131 to 151); Property crime down 21 percent (1.084 to 858).
> Central Business District: Violent crime up 21 percent (19 to 23); Property crime up 9 percent (312 to 340).
In the chief's annual crime report for 2015, Isaac and analysts from the city’s newly launched Office of Performance and Analytics showed how two categories of violent crime — rape and homicide — have steadily increased since 2011. By contrast, while aggravated assaults were up from 2014, they have steadily decreased over the last five years. Robberies have also showed steady decline in that time period.
Isaac was appointed interim chief when Blackwell was fired on Sept. 9. He was formally made chief on Dec. 10.
Mingo believes there's good collaboration between city leaders and community activists to steer people away from crime.
"We're seeing a lot of people who are tired. They're tired of being on the corners. They're tired of robbing people and then being robbed themselves. They're tired of being hopeless," Mingo said.