Sunday, April 7, 2002

Changes made since April 2001

        Violent Crimes Task Force

        Formed in July in response to the most violent spring and summer in decades, the 70-member unit tallied 2,214 arrests in just over five months. It served 1,804 warrants, busted 53 curfew violators, recovered 78 stolen vehicles and seized drugs. District captains lauded the decision in January to break the unit into district teams, with six officers assigned to each. An example since: A drug bust in Evanston where officers surprised dealers by hiding in a U-Haul.

        High-profile patrols

        New Downtown Services Unit and walking patrols along Vine Street started a month ago to promote positive relations with the community and a safe image of the business district as spring and summer approach and seasonal events start. High-visibility patrols are slated for other neighborhoods, too, including Price Hill.

        Racial profiling

        Officers have been recording race information about every traffic stop for 11 months. But typists are still entering the data, so University of Cincinnati professor Dr. John Eck does not yet have information to analyze. He was originally expected to generate reports after six months and one year. Without any data, he said last week he did not know when his report might be finished.


        An interim system is in place to track potentially problem behavior. Broader than the old system that tracked only macings, uses of force and complaints, it also tracks vehicle pursuits and injuries to prisoners. The system drew fire from the Fraternal Order of Police, which said it should track good behavior, too. It will be replaced by a more comprehensive computerized personnel database, but ''we had do something in the interim,'' inspections Capt. Jim Whalen says.

        New chiefs

        Voters in November approved a new system of choosing police and fire chiefs, allowing outsiders to be hired. A Fraternal Order of Police suit is pending, claiming the vote stripped assistant police chiefs of contractual protection. Other changes in the command staff could come this year: Chief Tom Streicher meets age and years-on requirements to retire any time, and Assistant Chief Rick Biehl has indicated this might be his last year. The command staff did get a new face in October, when Lt. Col. Cindy Combs became the first female assistant chief.


        Officers now have to explain, in words, the circumstances surrounding all sprays of chemical irritant, rather than just checking applicable boxes on a form. The use of irritant has been an issue since some African-Americans complained that officers used spray unnecessarily and for too long.

The Police
Violence up, arrests down
- Changes made since April 2001
Q&A with Police Chief Streicher
Q&A with former F.O.P. president Keith Fangman

Neighbor to Neighbor
Community meetings produce results
Going beyond polite silence
What your neighbors said
What do you think?
What's happening in 145 communities
A sampling of communities:
Mount Healthy
Pleasant Ridge
What institutions are doing

Related Links
Neighbor to Neighbor home page
Matters of Race: Bridging the divide in Greater Cincinnati
On the Same Page Cincinnati
Live Without Hate
Common Ground
Cincinnati 2001: Year of unrest
Unrest in the city: Archive of riot coverage
Unrest photo timeline
Jim Borgman on race

One Year Later
What were they thinking?
Too early to assess impact
Micheal Basnight's resolve
Violence part of life in OTR
CAN co-chair has no doubt
ACLU adds its Y-E-S to deal

Restaurant owner
Taft senior
Social worker
Sarah Center director
Jordanian grocer
Gallery owner
Beauty shop supplier
Teacher's aide
Dock worker
Police officer
Soup kitchen manager
School social worker
Medical student
Treatment counselor

Violence up, arrests down
Changes since April 2001
Q&A with Streicher
Q&A with Keith Fangman

Meetings produce results
Beyond polite silence
What your neighbors said
What do you think?
In your community
Mount Healthy
Pleasant Ridge
What institutions are doing

Neighbor to Neighbor
Matters of Race
On the Same Page
Live Without Hate
Common Ground
Year of unrest
Riot news archive
Unrest photos
Jim Borgman on race