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Crime Declines Around UC Campus; Fewer Citations And Arrests

University of Cincinnati officials told a city council committee Tuesday crime numbers around the campus are decreasing even as the school's police department retools how it does business. 


Vice President for Safety and Reform Robin Engel said at the same time there has been a reduction in the number of issued citations and arrests.


"69 percent reduction in arrests, 95 percent reduction in individuals who were cited," Engel said.


Engel said there was also a reduction in the racial disparity of those outcomes.  She said from January to July 2015, 61 percent of individuals arrested by the UC police department were African-American. That number decreased to 51 percent for the same period in 2016.


"So you see reductions in the use of the tool, reductions in the racial disparities in the tools," Engel said. "But we also saw simultaneously a significant reduction in both property and violent crime."


The City of Cincinnati has an ordinance that now prevents UC police officers from making off campus traffic stops. 


The policy changed after motorist Sam DuBose was shot and killed during an off campus traffic stop in July 2015.  Former UC officer Ray Tensing is facing murder and voluntary manslaughter charges.  His first trial ended with a hung jury.  He is scheduled to be re-tried in May.


Prior to August 2015, UC police officers routinely made traffic stops on city streets off campus to increase visibility in an effort to reduce crime around campus.


But Engel said that likely will not happen in the future.


"Most certainly the University of Cincinnati police department is not interested in using traffic stops as a crime prevention tool in a very proactive and aggressive style in which we have in the past," Engel said. "We simply don't need to and this demonstrates that very clearly."


Since the city banned off campus traffic stops, UC police have stopped 16 vehicles because they were "presenting an imminent risk of harm."  Engel said there is documentation for each of those stops with officer body camera videos for each incident.


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.