A revised Census Bureau’s estimate of Cincinnati’s population – up 22,582 from June – improves the city’s crime rate, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. Police Chief Tom Streicher said the new numbers rebut the notion that people are fleeing the city because they’re scared. “It’s perception versus reality, and – I have to say something here – that perception is fastened by what people read in the paper and hear on talk radio,” said Police Chief Tom Streicher. “Is everything great here? Hell no, it’s not great. But I’m frustrated with the image the city has, especially downtown.”
The new population figure gives Cincinnati a homicide rate of 23.8 per 100,000 residents, down from 25.4. Its national ranking would also drop from the 15th to 17th, slipping behind Norfolk, Va.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Cleveland. Streicher was pilloried when he declared, after a string of high-profile homicides, that Cincinnati is “one of the safest cites in America.” “I got beat up by everybody for saying that,” he said yesterday. “All I’m saying is, compare apples to apples – metropolitan area to metropolitan area, county size to county size – we’re very safe.” Many big cities, such as Indianapolis, Louisville and Charlotte, have merged with their counties to form one metropolitan government. Because their populations include both the old center city and the suburbs, they appear safer in rankings – even though the region is no safer.