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Cranley: Cincinnati is trying 'harder, smarter' in the wake of 2018 crises

Posted: 12:32 PM, Oct 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-24 12:11:08-04
Mayor to deliver State of the City speech today

Watch the complete speech above.

CINCINNATI -- Mayor John Cranley hopes to face the problems that plagued and occasionally paralyzed the city throughout 2018 with a renewed focus on reducing gun violence and poverty, he announced Tuesday night in his annual State of the City address.

Crucial to this goal is "the cavalry" -- police, firefighters, community advocates, local businesses and "local heroes" dedicated to stopping crime and extending opportunities to the poor and disenfranchised in Cincinnati.

"To sum up what your city is trying to do, if you are facing a shooter, we will send our cavalry," he said. "If you need a second chance, we will send our cavalry. If you need job assistance, we will send our cavalry."

After a pause, he admitted: "We don't always get there in time."

In the audience were witnesses to crises that claimed lives and prompted serious re-examination of city agencies throughout the year: The parents of Kyle Plush, a 16-year-old boy who suffocated in his van despite twice calling 911; the survivors of a late August shooting on Liberty Street in the West End; and the police officers who responded to a deadly shooting at Fifth Third Center days later.

Cranley pointed to the work of the officers and 911 operators, who responded in minutes to the Downtown shooting, as proof that city law enforcement had dedicated itself to improvement since Plush's death.

"It's no secret that the aftermath of Plush was tough for our people, and the greatest indicator of a willingness to try and do better is the lives they saved at Fountain Square," he said. "That's what trying harder means, and trying harder and smarter works."

Despite the pair of high-profile tragedies, Cranley said Cincinnati also had a great deal to celebrate: Shootings decreased by 13 percent from 2017 to 2018, reaching a 10-year low, and FC Cincinnati secured its position in Major League Soccer, which officials hope will bring development and soccer fans' dollars to the West End.