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Changes planned for upcoming special events in Cincinnati

You can expect to see plenty of police officers and more volunteers at special events in and around downtown following several incidents at this year's Taste of Cincinnati.  

Assistant Police Chief James Whalen recounted those activities Monday during a city council committee meeting.

"Primarily youth 14 to probably 23-year-old people that were moving up out of the event venue," Whalen said.  "Up into the Central Business District, up in to Over-the-Rhine and to a smaller extent over into the Westend, and engaging in disorderly behavior, sometimes violent behavior."

Whalen said the activity is nothing new, but this year it occurred on both Saturday and Sunday nights and was more outside the event venue.  In all six people filed assault reports with the police department.  He said officers are investigating and identified some suspects.

Whalen told the committee Downtown is safe.

"It is unfair to label an area, to lay a general label on an area over the events of one night," Whalen said.  "Over the incidents around one special event that occurs."

Committee Chairman Christopher Smitherman picked up on that theme.

"We aren't downplaying the six victims that were attacked downtown," Smitherman said.  "What we're saying here is that downtown is safe, and that we will hold people accountable who come down and try to disrupt any events that are happening around the city."

Whalen is suggesting the city modify its ordinance so youth are required to be with a parent or guardian during certain hours at special events.  

In addition, the department will be working with Citizens on Patrol and other organizations for more eyes to monitor upcoming events.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.