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Police meet with community advocates to discuss gun violence solutions

Cincinnati police
Posted at 5:18 AM, Jul 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-26 18:48:12-04

CINCINNATI — A string of high-profile shootings have rocked Cincinnati this summer, several of them involving children. Neighborhood anti-violence advocates met with police and city officials Monday night in East Westwood to discuss how they can all work together to prevent future tragedies.

“Do more patrols, ask questions,” said Knizair Genous, who panicked when he heard gunshots near his College Hill apartment on Sunday morning. “Having meetings within the neighborhoods and figure out what the residents would like to do to make the neighborhood a lot safer.”

Over the summer, police Chief Eliot Isaac has repeatedly voiced support for some like what Genous described: Community-oriented policing that emphasizes building positive, trusting relationships between police and the people they serve.

The city’s incoming police class will be trained in community-oriented strategies, he said Monday. Forty-eight new recruits started their training a few hours before the meeting; they’ll officially be on the force in early 2022.

“There’s a big desire for public service,” he said. “I think most of these individuals recognize how important it is that we have individuals that are willing to go the extra mile to serve our community."

Rodney Christian, president of the East Westwood Community Council, said he welcomes the new officers, especially after two young boys were shot in his neighborhood in June.

But his message to those training officers: “Get them out there, but that’s where they have to build relationships in the community. You can’t just always be seen in your uniform during the arrests and stuff. You really have to be involved in the community.”

The meeting started at 5 p.m. at the Roll Hill School at 2411 Baltimore Ave. The meeting is open to the public, and it can also be viewed live on Citicable.

RELATED: Pleas for city support at Westwood anti-violence forum