CINCINNATI, OH – Residents in some parts of the city of Cincinnati will begin to see an increase in police presence on streets starting this morning. Fifty officers are being transfered from other departments to neighborhood patrols.
A 150-page audit of the department is recommending some shake-ups in the way things have been done for years. Chief James Craig called for the audit after taking over last year. From more cops on the streets to better use of computers, Local 12 news reporter Jeff Hirsh has a look at what’s proposed.
Change can be scary. But change can be energizing … sort of a kick in the can to get things going. This long series of recommendations could be that kick. “A significant change is that the Patrol Bureau is being renamed the Neighborhood Policing Bureau to really reflect Cincinnati that may seem like.”
A cosmetic name change but lots of other changes will mean a different reality for the Cincinnati Police Department, based on the findings of an independent auditor. “The department is top heavy.”
And so an assistant chief who retired will not be replaced, and nearly a dozen captains and lieutenant positions will be phased out through attrition. Bureaus are being re-designed to put more cops on the beat. “We’ve lost 109 police officers since 2009 and not replaced them. And we’re now returning 50 officers to the field at no additional cost.”
District 4, for example, will get 16 additional officers. The CIRV anti-violence program will be re-emphasized, and computerized crime statistics will be better utilized. “This audit has revealed ways to be more efficient and better reduce our costs.”
Such as eliminate the school-base DARE program, and bring narcotics officers back in house and away from the sheriff’s office. “There were things that didn’t seem to fit under the old system. It was an inefficient way of doing things.”
Agreed, says the Fraternal Order of Police, who call the changes long overdue. “For the first time in a long time the officers feel like they do have a voice. No one knows better than the officers in the field what else can help and guess what.”
“It’s not over: this is an evolution. It’s not going to stop here.”
The 50 extra cops on the street began yesterday. The department is also experimenting with ten-hour-a- day, four-day-a- week shifts instead of eight hours, 5-days a week … and early results show savings in overtime.
Because of all the new activity downtown, like The Banks, and the upcoming choir games, Captain Kim Frey has been named to oversee downtown issues. This is not a separate police district. Downtown is still part of district one. But it does give additional focus to an area where a lot more is happening 24/7.