New Cincinnati Chief Says “We Are Desperately Short Of Officers”


A new Cincinnati police chief and City Council are signaling new approaches to crime-fighting, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. Christopher Smitherman, new Law and Public Safety chairman, encouraged Chief Jeffrey Blackwell and his force to police more aggressively. Smitherman said, he's disturbed to see people standing on street corners who appear to be selling drugs. “We'll deal with a little blowback from people in the community who have a little more liberal perspective,” he said. “This committee supports you, chief. I want your officers to know this committee supports you.”

Blackwell, who was hired just before the November council election, said changes will be coming after a series of town hall meetings and a senior police staff retreat next week. He plans a reorganization to tackle the rising homicide rate before warmer spring weather brings more violent crime. He also wants to organize a “God Squad” of clergy to support the police and will ask for money for technology and a new recruit class. “We are desperately short of officers,” Blackwell said. “Additionally, we need to improve our technology platform.” He noted: “We can't stop homicides by having more cops on the street – there's not a one-on-one correlation there.”

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