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Police Promise Crackdown on Violent Street Crime

Police Promise Crackdown on Violent Street Crime
Posted Wednesday, July 9th 2014 @ 3pm  by 700WLW News

(Cincinnati) -- Monday evening, a young man was shot and killed at Vine and Garfield.  Tuesday, a drive-by shooting at the same location wounded three people.  A bystander was hit by shrapnel at the same intersection, during Memorial Day weekend, as swarms of young people harassed and assaulted other festival goers, at the end of Taste of Cincinnati.

Photos from Tuesday night's shooting.

Photos from Monday night's homicide.

Chief of Police Jeffery Blackwell says in addition to the usual sociological reasons for violent crime, there's a growing trend of recklessness among some young people. He says the use of social media has made it easier for them to form flash mobs, and cause havoc.

And he says it will not be tolerated.

Blackwell says while citywide, violent crime is down, the perception of a lack of safety can still be damaging to the city.  He says starting immediately, Cincinnati Police are boosting their numbers and their visibility in the Central Business District.  Quality of Life officers are being reassigned to patrol Downtown.  Motorcycle officers will focus on hotspots.  Undercover officers and investigators will be put in place, and uniformed officers and Citizens on Patrol will make themselves visible, in order combat and deter street crime, and the idea that Downtown Cincinnati is not safe.

Blackwell says outbreaks of violent crime in the summertime are not unique to Cincinnati.  Over the weekend, 60 people were shot in Chicago, 9 of them died.  In Indianapolis, seven people were wounded in a single incident, and a police officer was killed in a gun battle.

The Chief says he warned of a spike in violence in Cincinnati, during a "100 days of Summer" period, but he says it hasn't happened, and statistically, violent crime is down from 2013, city-wide.  He says they've so far avoided the spike through better policing, and through more cooperation with the community.

Cincinnati Police will have a high visibility this weekend, during the Bunbury Music Festival, and the Reds home stand, and again at every major event for the rest of the season, including jazz and country music festivals, and during Oktoberfest.  Blackwell says while it's important to keep the Central Business District safe, and to maintain the perception that it's safe, the message should reach all 52 neighborhoods in Cincinnati: "Violent street crime will not be tolerated."

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