Scores of people came to the Cincinnati City Council’s Law and Public Safety Committee last night to plead for more efforts to reduce crime, specifically violent crime that has risen in some neighborhoods, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Three years ago, about 100 people came down and politely asked council to do something about crime,” said John Eby. “We were told you would bring together all the resources of the city. Now we are 240 more murders into this thing, and that is unacceptable. There’s a velvet rope that separates you from us, and there’s a disconnect between us.” Since a school board member’s husband was killed on his porch, there have been a series of robberies, home invasions and other crimes in the more-affluent North Avondale neighborhood that have brought people together to demand action from city council.
Assistant Police Chief Richard Janke said there are more officers on the street who have served more search warrants, made more arrests, and confiscated more drugs and guns this year than last. The task force – called Operation Vortex – will become a permanent part of the department Sept. 24. That means 50 officers, including bike, patrol, and undercover cops, will be available to respond immediately to crime hot spots in any neighborhood. Still, council member Cecil Thomas said: “There’s a perception by many that our city isn’t safe. It doesn’t matter if that’s real or perceived. If you feel unsafe, then our city is unsafe.”