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Cranley On Gun Violence: Police Are Stretched Thin, Community Needs To Step Up

john cranley
Becca Costello
/
WVXU
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley speaking Tuesday at a news conference about gun violence.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley says the community needs to step up to respond to the recent increase in gun violence. His comments are in response to a shooting late Sunday night at Smale Riverfront Park in which two young men shot and killed each other, also injuring three teens.

Cranley says shootings in the city are down about 14% compared to this time last year.

"That's cold comfort to the victims from the weekend, it's cold comfort to the victims from the last month," Cranley said. "And shootings remain at extremely higher levels than is acceptable. We are still up significantly over where we were two years ago."

Cranley says the police department will increase patrols as much as possible, but the department is down nearly a hundred officers and can't afford to do much more. He's asked the city manager and police chief to convene a group to create a plan to address youth violence in Cincinnati.

"This is an all-hands-on-deck between the city, the county, the federal government, and we will continue to do more," Cranley said. "But what we ultimately need is for the community to step up as well, and to re-commit to true values of self love … our officers are doing great work and they are stretched thin, and that's why we need community help, as well."

Cranley says the U.S. attorney's office will soon announce actions collaborating with CPD, the FBI and the ATF.

"And we have found over the years that when the U.S. attorney is able to do actions of this sort, that we see a reduction in gun violence quickly to follow," Cranley said, adding he could not elaborate on what those actions will be.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters says he's declaring a war on illegal guns in Cincinnati. Deters tweeted Tuesday he's directing all assistant prosecutors to stop offering plea bargains on cases involving gun violence or possession of illegal guns. A representative from the prosecutor's office says it's difficult to estimate how often plea-bargaining occurs on such cases.

There were 183 shootings in the city this year, as of June 22.