Downtown is 'extremely safe' despite recent violent assaults, Cincinnati Police chief says
Violent crime across Cincinnati is down about 33% compared to the three-year average for this time of year. But two violent assaults caught on camera about a week ago highlight a recent increase in crime Downtown, especially involving youth.
"[The videos] get the play in the media, which is kind of a double-edged sword for us," Police Chief Teresa Theetge told a City Council committee Tuesday. "It does heighten the awareness to people of what the police officers are dealing with; it heightens people's sense that they need to know what's going on around them. But unfortunately, it also heightens people's perception that Downtown is not safe."
Theetge says she is concerned about the recent violence and is especially worried that so many young people are involved.
"We've got to get to a point that the police are a part of the solution, not the sole solution, because if you just keep throwing more cops at it, your risk of a bad encounter just goes up because of the frequency that the cops are engaging with these kids," she said.
Theetge says incidents like this often involve familiar faces.
On Friday, she says officers responded to a call in a Downtown parking garage and arrested 12 juveniles for trespassing. Of those, two are suspects in the felonious assault from Jan. 24; two are suspects in the robbery from Jan. 23; six were identified as being involved in a "disorderly incident" at Carew Tower on Jan. 29; and one was wearing an ankle monitoring device.
Later that night, officers arrested two juveniles for breaking into vehicles and both were found to be carrying semi-automatic pistols; two young adults also were arrested for theft from cars.
Theetge says police are doing all they can and officers are tired.
"And one of my biggest concerns is this is February — this isn't even the warm weather yet," she said.
CPD is still working to analyze the year-end crime statistics for 2023 and plans to present the information to City Council in the coming weeks.