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Cincinnati City Manager reflects on situation in Baltimore, his hometown

harry black
Tana Weingartner
/
WVXU
City Manager nominee Harry Black

Cincinnati's city manager grew up in Baltimore and served as that city's finance director before relocating here.  Harry Black says it saddens him to see what's happening in his hometown.

And Black says Baltimore will have a chance to improve police-community relationships much like Cincinnati did following the 2001 riots.

"Baltimore is a good city with a lot of good people," says Black. "The people of Baltimore are very tolerant people so something like this is very serious, in my view. It takes a lot to get Baltimoreans to this point because, all in all, they're good people, hard-working people. I wish them the best in terms of dealing with this current situation."

Black says Baltimore may be able to learn from Cincinnati's experience with police-community relations.

"You never know what's going to trigger something like what's going on in Baltimore, so the key is to be vigilant, to be open and transparent," Black says. "Over-communicate at all times, which is what we try to do with respect to the (Cincinnati) police department. If there is a police involved shooting, immediately within a 24-hour period, we're out there sharing information. We're communicating with the public."

Black says he'll likely reach out to Baltimore officials to offer Cincinnati's assistance in moving forward and providing technical details about local efforts to improve police-community relations.