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After high-profile shootings, Cincinnati police prioritize getting guns off streets

Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac
Posted at 8:23 AM, Jun 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 18:45:29-04

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati police plan to prioritize the seizure of illegal guns, a problem that’s dogged them throughout 2021, in light of recent high-profile shootings within city limits.

Police Chief Eliot Isaac discussed the attacks, the data and his perspective Tuesday with the City Council Law and Public Safety Committee.

“Any time you see loss of life, any time you see a child hurt, that hits hard,” he said of the recent incidents. “I’ve seen that tragedy far too many times in my career.”

Cincinnati’s last two weeks have seen multiple shootings end with child victims. On Monday, a 16-year-old was shot in Avondale and hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. An 8-year-old boy remains in an induced coma at Children’s Hospital after the June 12 shooting that wounded him.

Although 2021 has seen fewer homicides than the year before, Isaac said the numbers aren’t down to pre-pandemic levels. And the number of illegal guns seized by his department is higher: 750 since Jan. 1, compared to the 550 Cincinnati officers have seized by June of a typical year

“We’re continuing to work our strategies,” he said.

Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman, chair of the Law and Public Safety Committee, said he supports those strategies including an elevated level of surveillance.

“That's something that the public is going to have to stomach, meaning our officers using data but doing proactive policing that's getting guns out of the hands of bad people,” he said.

Watch Isaac's testimony before the Law and Public Safety Committee in the viewer below:

Cincinnati police Chief Eliot Isaac addresses recent, and deadly, string of gun violence