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Homicide rates in Cincinnati remain on the rise since the beginning of the pandemic

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Posted at 5:23 PM, Apr 20, 2022

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati's homicide rates have continued to rise since the start of the pandemic.

In the first quarter of 2020, ending on March 31, city data shows Cincinnati had 15 homicides. The first quarter of 2021 saw 17 homicides. In 2022, there were 20 homicides before March 31.

Though crime overall dropped in Cincinnati from 2020 to 2021, homicides rose year over year: There were 74 total homicides in the city during 2020 and by the end of 2021, Cincinnati had seen 94 homicides.

In January, before his retirement as Cincinnati's police chief, Eliot Isaac said the first month of 2022 was the deadliest January in recent history.

As the summer months approach, which typically produce the highest number of homicides each year, Cincinnati city council members increased the budget for police overtime to help combat another summertime spike in violence.

"(District commanders) come up ... 'These are the hours that our crime is occurring, these are the days of the week, this is how many officers I need to address it,'" said Teresa Theetge, interim police chief for Cincinnati, on Tuesday. "As we see crime shift, they will have to very quickly shift their plan. What the money does is it allows them to have resources, a pot of money to go to continually implement their plan without having to stall it for financial reasons."

Violent crime among juveniles also spiked during the pandemic in Cincinnati. In 2021, 13 children were charged with murder in Hamilton County Juvenile Court.

According to officials with the court, that's the highest number of juvenile murder charges ever filed in one year. In 2020, three children were charged with murder.

Domestic violence also increased in Cincinnati during the pandemic and with it came an increase in domestic-related homicides.

In June 2021, Cincinnati police said 15% of homicides committed in the city that year were domestic violence related. In 2020, police said only 5% of homicides in Cincinnati were related to domestic violence.