Friday, December 03, 1999

FBI salutes effort in neighborhood

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — The FBI honored local officials Thursday for their efforts to fight drug-dealing and violence on the city's East Side.

        Operation Clean Sweep, a program involving Covington police, Kenton County sheriff's deputies and the Kenton County Jail, earned the FBI Director's Community Leadership Award. Jeffrey Lampinski, agent in charge of the FBI's Louisville office, presented it on behalf of FBI Director Louis Freeh.

        The program, which began in March, put extra patrols on the streets of the historically troubled neighborhood. Officials also organized cleanups and a summer block party for residents. Officers made more than 450 arrests in the neighborhood after the program started — 95 for felonies and 368 misdemeanors. Officers also towed illegally parked cars and logged information on suspected gang members. Inmates picked up trash.

        “I think it's fairly rare that we see people in the community coming forward and thanking law enforcement,” Mr. Lampinski said. He presented the awards to Covington Chief Al Bosse, Kenton County Jailer Terry Carl and Kenton County Sheriff Chuck Korzenborn.

        The honors came the morning after a roundup of people accused of selling cocaine on the East Side. Wednesday, Covington officers and members of the FBI's Safe Streets Task Force arrested six men and a juvenile, charging them all with trafficking in cocaine. More arrests were expected, Lt. Col. Bill Dorsey said.

        Officials involved met later Thursday to talk about the program and decide how to proceed next. Neighborhood residents have asked for officers to patrol the streets on foot.

        “We're talking about how to go at it,” Lt. Col. Dorsey said. “We're not going to stop.”

        The city has applied for a federal “weed and seed” grant for the neighborhood too. Those are designed to weed bad elements out of the neighborhood and restore good ones.


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