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Chief Isaac to implement changes within police department in effort to curb fatal shootings in Cincy

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Posted at 9:44 AM, Jul 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-11 21:25:10-04

CINCINNATI -- Amid a rash of fatal shootings, Chief Eliot Isaac said Thursday the "blatant disregard for human life" in the city will not be tolerated, and he is implementing several changes within the Cincinnati Police Department in an effort to stop the violence.

Twenty people have been killed in shootings in the city since May 30. Of those victims, over half were under the age of 30. Twenty percent of the people killed were under 20 years old. Two of the victims were 14 years old. All 20 victims were under the age of 40.

Chief Eliot Isaac, Mayor John Cranley and City Manager Patrick Duhaney addressed the spike in gun violence and discussed potential solutions in a Thursday morning press conference. Watch the full press conference in the player below:

Isaac said the police department will practice the following strategies immediately:

• Utilize Police Visibility Overtime to saturate hot spot areas such as East, West and Lower Price Hill and Over-the-Rhine
• Reducing Telephone Crime Reporting Unit to add personnel to the patrol force
• Utilize overtime funding approved by City Council to fill gaps in shifts
• Adjust the working hours of several specialized units to provide a greater street presence in the evening and night hours
• Expanding ShotSpotter in communities of East, West, and Lower Price Hill. Police hope the technology yields success like it has in Avondale
• Reducing supervisory ranks (five sergeants and two lieutenants) to increase complement of first line officers
• Forty-two police officers will graduate from the academy on July 26 and will boost police presence in the communities
• Continue to evaluate opportunities to shift officers assigned to non-enforcement duties back to patrol functions
• Increased attention on youth Engagement such as Summer Police Cadets, Police Explorers Program, Police Youth Camp at Camp Joy and partnerships with other community organizations

Shootings are down in the city when compared to previous years, Isaac told Cincinnati City Council on June 24. Shootings are down 30 percent since Isaac took the helm in 2015, according to police data.

Cranely said while it’s true numbers are still at historic lows, that is no consolation to the families who have lost loved ones. Cranley made a plea to the public to “put their guns down” and take accountability to prevent further loss of life.

Isaac called the recent surge in gun violence “senseless.”

“The impact that gun violence has and the devastation that it causes to the families of the victims and to our city must cease,” Isaac said. “The loss of any life is a tragedy, and the commitment to reduce violent crime has been and continues to be the highest priority for the Cincinnati Police Department.”

Isaac noted the June 30 death of 14-year-old Anthony Hinton in Over-the-Rhine and the July 6 death of 14-year-old Cameron Franklin in Lower Price Hill and said police will place a heavier emphasis on enforcing the city’s curfew to keep teens off the streets in the middle of the night.

Anyone under the age of 15 cannot be in a public place after 10 p.m. Teenagers between the ages of 15 and 18 cannot be in public places past midnight.

"Our belief is that when you have young people that are out at 2 and 3 in the morning, there's something going on in that family," Isaac said. "We're not looking for a heavy-handed approach to that, but we want to offer assistance to those families, point them in need of any social service that they may be in need of, but we also want to prioritize the safety of our young people."

Isaac said every citizen of Cincinnati has a responsibility to keep the city safe. People should practice "if you see something, say something," he said. Citizens can submit a tip to Crime Stoppers anonymously by calling 513-352-3040. Residents can volunteer with organizations to be mentors for young adults, he said.

"Every citizen in Cincinnati has a role in achieving a safe city," Isaac said.

Use the map below to see where shootings have occurred in Cincinnati. You can read more about each shooting by clicking on the red markers.