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Cincinnati Youth Make Recommendations For Policing Changes

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Derek Goulet
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Flickr Creative Commons

A group of Cincinnati teens, sponsored by the Children's Law Center, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and the Urban League, is making recommendations to the city of Cincinnati to reduce the number of youth arrests and eliminate racial disparities.

Children's Law Center Executive Director Acena Beck says over the summer representatives from Cincinnati's youth councils examined Hamilton County Juvenile Court data, including arrest and detention records. The goal was to come up with policy recommendations. They also learned about the juvenile justice system and how to request information.

Their suggestions include:

According to Beck, "These policies, none of them are such lofty ideas that they can't be accomplished, not to say that they can all be accomplished tomorrow."
She and others presented the recommendations to Cincinnati's police chief and city manager Oct. 16 and plan to follow up.

The city seems open to it.

“The City Administration was pleased to partner with the Children’s Law Center, the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio and Youth at the Center on this important topic. We look forward to going over the recommendations and discussing possible paths forward with the organizations, the Cincinnati Police Department and our elected officials in the coming weeks. The City of Cincinnati remains committed to exploring ways to expand partnerships with a range of community based organizations to create platforms and meaningful opportunities for young people to voice their opinions and inform the decisions that will impact their lives.”

Beck maintains this was a positive experience for the youth. "One-hundred percent said the training was helpful and they learned something new. The one that I think is pretty powerful is that 96% said they are better prepared to handle the next encounter with a police officer."

Ann Thompson has years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology