A decade after a Cincinnati police shooting provoked riots, the Cincinnati Enquirer says things have changed dramatically. In the six years before the riots, 15 men – all African-American – died in confrontations with police. In the last 10 years? Eight, six of them black. Cincinnati officers have been involved in fewer police shootings since 2004 than their counterparts in the larger cities of Cleveland and Columbus as well as Dayton, Toledo, and Akron.
The reasons for that decline include everything from technology and training to luck. Cops are still cops, as Chief Tom Streicher said before he retired in March. They're adrenaline junkies who have to think fast in dangerous situations. The 1,068 working in Cincinnati now, he said, are better trained, more carefully watched and more mindful of the power they wield and the effect it can have on people. “There's no one single thing you can point to,” Streicher said. “There's an improved approach to how we conduct business and it starts with training. We've continued to ask ourselves: Even if an action is right, is there a better way to do business?”