CINCINNATI — On Monday night, neighbors, Evanston's neighborhood committee and members of the Cincinnati Police Department gathered to discuss solutions to a spike in violent crime after two deadly shootings in Evanston last week.
At the meeting, Captain Danita Pettis unveiled a unique challenge the police are having in combating the rise in shootings.
"We're seeing a situation where the juveniles are having high-powered weapons," she said. "Which is unique. That's not something that we've ever experienced before."
"Part of our investigation is going to get to the bottom of how are these kids getting these guns in their hands," said Pettis.
Directly between the two shootings from last week, on Montgomery Rd., sits Cream and Sugar Coffee House. Co-owner Crystal Grace has lived in Evanston for more than two decades, and she said the community needs to feel safe.
"We want so much more for this community," said Grace. "We want our customers to feel safe. We want our residents to feel safe. And we deserve that."
Monday night's meeting, organized by the Evanston Community Council, invited neighbors like Grace to share their ideas for improving the safety in the neighborhood. Neighbors suggested ideas like improving community-police relations, offering more programs to support children, teens and parents, and finding ways to lift people out of poverty.
"I haven't heard a lot of getting to the bottom of the situation, which is poverty," said Toledo Hill, a concerned neighbor. "Poverty is usually the cause of these crimes. When we eliminate the poverty, we eliminate the crime."
CPD plans to follow up with individual concerns shared at the meeting and Cincinnati City Council members now have a list of issues and concerns they will begin to focus on.