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2018 Gun Violence Was 'Lowest In A Decade' Says Cincinnati Police Chief

eliot isaac
John Minchillo
Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac at a Sept. 2018 news conference.

Even with a recent spike in violence, the Cincinnati Police Department reports the number of shootings in the city this year is lower than previous years.  
Police Chief Eliot Isaac addressed Council's Law and Public Safety Committee Monday morning.

Isaac said there have been 147 shootings in 2019 compared to 156 at the same point in 2018. The three-year average for this point in the year is 174, he added.

"2018 was the lowest year that we had in a decade," Isaac said. "And we are below that number this year. So although we have experienced a spike over the past three to four weeks, our numbers still are lower than we've seen in the past 10 years."

So far there have been 25 homicides this year, and 22 were the result of gun violence.  

The department said these are not random events, and many of those who have been shot were targeted.

Isaac said the department is focused on disrupting crime by focusing on offenders.

"We focus on those individuals that commit violent crime, be it a group or a gang, or what we've seen more recently, is the damage that an individual can do by shooting multiple people or engaging in multiple acts," Isaac said. "And so we take the extra steps to focus on those individuals that we know are responsible for those crimes."

Offenders are one part of the crime triangle with locations and victims being the other sides. The department studies those areas as well.

Officers are also focused on tracing the firearms used in gun violence.

One new tool to help with that is ShotSpotter. Isaac called it an investigative tool, but not the only solution to reducing violence.

"It provides us leads to determine where these guns are coming from, where the shots fired incidents are taking place and it gives us the opportunity to respond to collect evidence and to provide aid to a victim that we may not be aware of," Isaac said.

ShotSpotter uses sensors on rooftops and street lights to listen for gunfire and notify police in 30-45 seconds. There are 20 sensors per square mile.

The system was launched August 2017 in Avondale.  It also provides some coverage for parts of North Avondale, Mt. Auburn, Walnut Hills and Corryville.

By the end of July, the technology will be deployed to provide coverage for portions of East, West and Lower Price Hill.


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.