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Cincinnati/UC Still Working On Revamped Off Campus Policing Agreement

University of Cincinnati.

Cincinnati and the University of Cincinnati are continuing work on an agreement about how policing occurs in and around the campus.

Its main focus is allowing UC officers to patrol in city neighborhoods off campus. 

Those activities have been suspended since August after a deadly shooting incident involving a UC officer in July. 

City solicitor Paula Boggs Muething spoke about the discussions Monday morning during a Law and Public Safety Committee meeting.  She explained why the process is taking longer than first announced.

"Putting in place the training protocols as well as keeping our community partners informed and getting their input is not something that can take place within a few weeks," Boggs Muething said.  "We don't anticipate having a final MOU until about April of next year."

The revamped Memorandum of Understanding is expected to ask UC police to maintain similar professional standards, policies, training and community-oriented practices as the city’s police department.
Law and Public Safety Committee Chairman Christopher Smitherman said he is focused on training for UC police officers.

"You know that's going to share with me how serious UC is about making a change on their commitment to training their officers, the number of hours they have committed to it,  their communication and adopting the types of training that our police officers go through," Smitherman said.  "Those are the things that I'm going to be looking for."

The city stopped off-campus UC patrols in August following a deadly officer-involved shooting incident in July.  Former UC officer Ray Tensing is facing a murder charge after stopping motorist Sam Dubose in an off-campus traffic stop. 

University officials also addressed the Law and Public Safety Committee on its efforts to reform the UC police department in the wake of the deadly shooting incident.  UC Public Safety Director Jim Whalen spoke about the agreement with the city.

 "This relationship in order for it to be successful has to be very good for both parties," Whalen said.  "As the university accomplishes its goal of protecting our faculty, staff, students and property in the area, I think it's important to point out that we're doing an even better job of assisting the city of Cincinnati in assisting the residents who are not affiliated with the university that live in the area."

The university is moving forward with a comprehensive review of UCPD policies, procedures, practices and training.  A draft request for proposal is expected to be released the week of November 16th.  That review and report could be completed in May.

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.