CINCINNATI -- Can a long-running neighborhood program help a relatively new crime plan? People in Westwood and East Westwood will find out over three months later this year.
The city's Neighborhood Enhancement Program, now in its 10th year, will focus on the area of McHenry avenue between Harrison and Baltimore avenues.
The location is one Cincinnati police identified as needing special attention in their Place-Based Investigations of Violent Offender Territories, or PIVOT, strategy unveiled last year. The PIVOT strategy has brought "a dramatic reduction in shootings, violent crime and weapons-related calls," according to the city. Officials hope focusing the Neighborhood Enhancement Program in the same area as PIVOT will prolong the anti-violence efforts there.
"This is another step in transforming that area and the community, and it's really beneficial to both East Westwood and Westwood," Westwood Civic Association president Shawntee Stallworth-Schramm said.
The 90-day Neighborhood Enhancement Program helps city departments, residents, neighborhood organizations and businesses work together on tackling problems such as blight and crime. Past communities that took part include Lower Price Hill, Mount Auburn and Over-the-Rhine.
"This program has been extremely successful in addressing crime and blight throughout the city," Mayor John Cranley said in a statement. "These efforts will accelerate community development momentum in these communities, creating an immediate, as well as lasting impact on this neighborhood."
A formal kickoff for the McHenry corridor initiative is in March, and program runs through May.
In mid-August, city officials move their attention to the West End, which will be the 24th community to take part in the Neighborhood Enhancement Program.