Cincinnati Police said they've arrested 15 people and taken 11 weapons off the streets so far as part of an ongoing investigation of gang-related violence in the West End. The effort represents four months of investigative work by various law enforcement agencies as part of the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence, also known as CIRV.
"We want to send a loud and clear message that we do not accept homicides; we do not accept violent behavior," said Mayor John Cranley at a press briefing Thursday.
Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police President Kathy Harrell had a blunt message for city council about police department staffing.
“We’re at the point right now that officers out on the street lives are in jeopardy,” Harrell said. “I’m going to get a lot of slack for saying that, but I don’t care. They’re out there with 187 less officers.”
Harrell testified Tuesday before Council's Law and Public Safety Committee.
Without new officers, the department could be down 267 officers by the end of 2015. Harrell said something has to change.
Update: Construction crews will soon begin work on a new police headquarters for Cincinnati's District Three. Officials and residents gathered Monday for a ground breaking at the location on Ferguson Road near Glenway. It will replace the current facility that was built in 1908. New police chief Jeffrey Blackwell said it will be good for the department. The $15 million project is expected to be completed in the spring 2015.
An estimated 3,000 police officers from as far away as Ireland, are in Cincinnati for a convention that begins Monday and continues through Friday. The Convention and Visitors Bureau puts the economic impact at $4.5 million and contracted hotel room nights of more than 15,000 in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.