Thank you for joining us in our online Q&A session with Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell. I'm WCPO Crime and Justice Reporter Kareem Elgazzar, and I will be serving as your moderator today. We'll be starting in just a few moments.
I have not been told by the City Manager when or if a new "Recruit" class is going to commence. I think that attrition has taken our staffing numbers down to a level whereby we either need new recruits or operational restructuring on some level.
I am not sure of the rules concerning what we call "lateral transfers", but i think it certainly could be a viable option to save taxpayer dollars and fill critical vacancies.
I am currently in the process of reviewing department-wide operations and attempting to assses what needs 'tweaked', re-worked, or potentially eliminated or changed altogether. My goal is to create and sustain the best "big-city" police department in the USA!
you can only do that with engaged citizens and trusting relationships with people in the community.
Outstanding question! I certainly want to establish that type of task force that focuses on fencing opertions, high-end retail crime, pawn-shops and scrap dealers. Additionally, the second hand shops have become a bit of a problem in many jurisdictions.
I am critically looking at the recent spike in violent crime and being advised by District Captains as to what they think needs to be done. Obviously I want the Captains to take ownership for their districts and craft plans to address these issues. I am however developing operational plans that augment some of the efforts that have been tried before. For example, we will start to use a "All Hands On Deck" approach starting really soon.
I have several youth initiatives such as the G>R>E>A>T> program, Midnight Basketball, and others. The youth are my passion! we have to save them
GREAT stands for Gang Resistance Education and Training.
Chief Blackwell is following up your question, Katie, with a little more detail.
Midnight Basketball leagues will be established this fall/winter
I do not have an opinion on the merits of the streetcar project. We will however police and make safe any endeavor that is in the city of Cincinnati that is paid for with taxpayer dollars. That is our job.
We certainly do focus a considerable amount of resources in OTR
I am looking at adding foot patrols as we speak!
I do not have a web site set up yet for that! But feel free to stop in to District 1 Headquarters and see me or Sgt. Julie Johnson to join our team!
Our next question is about gang crime.
CollaBORATION ALWAYS MAKE THE SOLUTION EASIER TO ACHIEVE!
Cat, Chief Blackwell is following up to your question.
Gang Violence will not be tolerated, period! We will take a firm stance and aggressive approach to eradicate the fear and intimidation that gang members bring to an entire community. We will implement innovative and strategic efforts to catch and prosecute ALL GANG MEMBERS IN CINCINNATI!!
Homeleesness and vagrancy are societal problems that plague most metropolitan areas in the USA
Chief Blackwell is following up your question, Bill.
Cincinnati does have it's share. I practice the "Broken Windows" theory and believe that we have to do a better job in dealing with "aggressive" panhandling in downtown Cincy
Matthew, Chief Blackwell is reading your question and will likely answer it in a few parts. Thank you.
Improvements in technology are always on the table for improvements in police service delivery. I am looking at "Body-Cam" technology currently and will have a recommendation for the City Manager in a couple of weeks. Equipment that promotes transparency and safety should always be considered.
Eye glass cams are being considered.
Creating sustainable, engaged, meaningful relationships with people who have had reason for mistrust police officers in the past. I hope to move us forward into an era where Cops and Citizens collaborate on crime issues and develop friendhsips in the process of doing so. The relationships between citizens and police officers do not have to be strained or fragile--they can be strong and robust!
Our next two questions are about the Cincinnati police uniform. Chief Blackwell will answer these two questions together.
The uniform should be a source of pride. It should be clean and worn in a professional and dignified manner. The better you look, the more respect people have for you---the more respect they have, the easier "law enforcement" is!! The men and women who have worn this uniform over the past 150 plus years wore it with pride and it meant something to them. Many Officers have paid the ultimate sacrifice wearing this uniform! It WILL BE WORN PROFESSIONALLY!