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Despite a recent spike in gun violence, shootings are down in Cincinnati, chief says

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Posted at 1:27 PM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 16:35:00-04

CINCINNATI -- A rash of deadly shootings this month has led to community outrage, and many of those cases remain unsolved.

Police Chief Eliot Isaac had bad news and good news for city leaders Monday.

The good news: the 22 people shot and killed in the city so far this year is the lowest number in 10 years, the chief said.

The bad news is that there have been 11 deadly shootings since May 30 and police have only made arrests in four of them.

That makes the department's clearance rate about 42% - much lower than its typical rate of 65%, which also represents the national average.

Issac said police are “close on several others.”

“We went through a period where we had 10 in a very short period of time, that are only a month old. I think that, in the next upcoming several months, many of those are going to be closed,” Isaac said. “So I've very confident that we're going to see our closure rate by the end of the year where it's traditionally been.”

Mitch Morris of the Cincinnati Works Phoenix Program is also optimistic that the shooting rate will decline.

“There's a lot of good people that's doing a lot of good work, so we're just going to keep pushing this thing. It's rough for us right now, but I want the public to know there's a lot of people doing great work right now,” Morris said

So far this year 147 people have been shot in the city and 22 have died, according to police data. Last year at this time, 28 people were killed in shootings in Cincinnati. In 2017, it was 29.

Shootings have decreased about 30% since Isaac became chief in 2015, according to police data.

Isaac attributes the decrease in shootings to programs such as PIVOT, a strategy that focuses on violent areas. Isaac also said ShotSpotter, which features microphones that hear the sound of a gunshot and tell police where to respond, is helping police respond to crime in Avondale.

Officials plan to launch the technology in the Price Hill neighborhoodsin the next month, Isaac said, and authorities are looking into grant funding to expand the use of ShotSpotter.

ShotSpotter has been in Avondale since August 2017. Mayor John Cranley said last month that shootings in Avondale have dropped by 50% since the technology was introduced.

Originally, officials wanted to extend ShotSpotter's coverage to Mount Auburn, Walnut Hills, Evanston and Corryville. Those five neighborhoods accounted for 20% of gunfire in the city between January 2014 and March 2016.