Cincinnati Chief Seeks To Stop Campus Police From Patrolling Community


Six years ago, with crime rising in the area of the University of Cincinnati, the city and the university signed an agreement giving the 72-member campus police force authority to patrol nearby residential streets. The goal was “increased visibility,” university officials say, and the 10,000 students who live in apartments and rowhouses off campus noticed a difference say the New York Times. the fatal shooting of an unamed black motorist, Samuel DuBose, by a white campus police officer who faces murder charges, is forcing officials to reconsider a policy in which the Cincinnati Police Department empowered a less racially diverse possibly inadequately trained force to patrol an area far more complex than its campus home base. The Hamilton County prosecutor has called for the campus force to be disbanded; the university has suspended neighborhood patrols and is initiating a “top to bottom” review.

Mayor John Cranley said he was concerned about the racial makeup and training of the campus force, and Cincinnati Chief Jeffrey Blackwell called for the agreement to be scrapped. “If we're going to have one, it needs to be written in such a manner that is very restrictive in what it allows U.C. police to do inside the confines of a large city,” he said, adding, “I don't believe their officers have the skill set to police Cincinnati with the same philosophy of fairness and cultural competency that my officers display.” University officials say they are already retraining officers on matters like racial profiling, and that their officers work closely with their city counterparts. Prof. Robin Engel, who directs the university's Institute of Crime Science and advises both city and campus officers, says the university is developing an “early warning system” to flag officers who might pose problems. “High visibility was always our goal to reduce crime,” she said, “but it's possible that some officers took that further than we may have originally intended.”

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