If the rate of juvenile homicides continues at the pace recorded so far in 2014 – four of 20 total cases – it would continue the rising trend of homicidal violence against children and teens in Cincinnati, which rose to one in seven cases in 2012 and 2013 from one in 10 in the previous decade, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. In light of new U.S. Census data that show children make up 22 percent of the city’s population but 47 percent of the city’s poor, a percentage that is also growing, city leaders say something’s got to give.
Whether in the police department, City Hall or at the grass-roots level, leaders say there is an unprecedented effort in the works to protect and improve the lives of the city’s youth. “We’ve got children killing other children,” said Cincinnati Councilwoman Yvette Simpson, who has spearheaded the creation of the Youth Commission of Cincinnati, one of those efforts. “It breaks my heart, but it shows me we’ve got this work that we’ve got to do.” Simpson grew up impoverished, raised by her grandmother. Everywhere around her, people solved their problems with violence; she understands how children and young adults become comfortable with and resort to acts that others, raised in more secure environments, can’t understand.