Cincinnati Murders Down; Cop Cites “Good Luck”


After five consecutive years of increases, Cincinnati finished 2004 with a 12 percent decrease in homicides, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Sixty-six people died from homicidal violence in the city last year, compared with 75 victims in 2003. The pace of killings slowed dramatically in the second half of 2004, when 26 people were slain – compared with 39 during the same time period in 2003. “It’s been one of those kinds of years where we had a lot of good luck,” said Capt. Vince Demasi, who supervises homicide investigations. “But we don’t always know why.”

Demasi and Mayor Charlie Luken mentioned the police department’s monthly Community Response Team efforts as an example of a program that can reduce violence. The CRTs pull dozens of officers together from all over the city to work on specific neighborhood problems, which are often drug-related. The hot spots are chosen with input from residents. Officials are hesitant to call too much attention to the 12 percent drop. “You never want to take too much credit for good statistics,” said Capt. James Whalen, a district commander. “Because then you have to take credit, too, when the numbers aren’t good.”


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