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Landsman Proposes Fund For Community-Led Efforts To Reduce Crime, Blight

Cincinnati Council Member Greg Landsman announced his plan to reduce crime at a news conference Monday, August 2 2021.
Becca Costello
Cincinnati Council Member Greg Landsman announced his plan to reduce crime at a news conference Monday, August 2, 2021.

An effort at Cincinnati City Hall to reduce violent crime is focused on giving neighborhoods the tools and funding needed to implement their own plans.

Council Member Greg Landsman's proposal includes re-establishing a "Safe and Clean" fund to support community-led projects like improved lighting, better signage and security cameras.

"This is an attempt to really empower those community groups, neighborhood leaders, that are coming together to build their own safety plans," Landsman said. "They know their communities better than anybody. They know where the crime is happening, and they know what they need to stop it, to get crime and violence away from their children, their families and out of their neighborhoods."

Landsman wants an initial $500,000 in city funding for the "Safe and Clean" fund, and hopes to raise another half million dollars from corporate donations for a total $1 million investment.

Landsman says the plan is the result of several recent meetings with community leaders like Rodney Christian, president of the East Westwood Improvement Association (the neighborhood's community council).

"We're living by example in our community," Christian said. "We're living by example by not just our talk, but by our actions, our walk."

Jacque Edmerson is president of the Bond Hill Community Council.

"I, too, am very concerned about the gun violence, but it seems like the gun violence, unfortunately, gets all the attention," Edmerson said. "Hear me clearly: gun violence in our community is a serious, severe problem. But so is litter; so is speed; those kinds of things that prohibit people from wanting to walk the streets."

Landsman's proposal also calls for an update to the Cincinnati Police Department's PIVOT "micro-locations" data. A June 2017 report found crime hotspots that make up just 1.4% of the city's landmass, but account for 42.6% of shootings involving a victim. Landsman wants newer data that would be shared publicly.

He also wants to expand use of SARA training, a key component of the historic Collaborative Agreement. SARA is a problem-solving model; it stands for Scanning, Analysis, Response and Assessment.

Iris Roley, who was key in negotiating the Collaborative Agreement 20 years ago, says SARA can be effective all over the city.

"It was not just about police-community relations, it is about crime, blight and disorder as well," Roley said. "So SARA is not just for police, it's for all city departments, and for all communities to use it."

Landsman wants to offer SARA training to all neighborhoods as they work on their own public safety plans.

His motion asks city administration to report back within 30 days on how best to implement the plans. Council could consider the motion as soon as Wednesday.