Cincinnati Council Halts Off-Campus Traffic Stops By UC Police

Aug 5, 2015

Credit Provided / University of Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Council has approved an ordinance that temporarily bans University of Cincinnati police officers from making traffic stops off campus.

In the meantime, the city and the university will be reviewing a memorandum of understanding that allowed the stops in the first place.

Community member Iris Roley spoke to city council Wednesday about that review.

"I am very concerned around any restructuring of an MOU (memorandum of understanding) without partnership from the community so that we understand who and what and where will be patrolling our streets," Roley said.

UC Student Body President Andrew Naab said students are concerned after campus safety.

"Here in the coming weeks we have thousands of students returning to the Clifton area, many of which come from different countries and different parts of our country, and we are expecting the safety and security of Clifton," Naab said.  "I wanted to come as a student to express this concern in hopes that we can find a mutually beneficial solution to this in the coming weeks prior to school starting."

Council member Wendell Young asked UC students to have some patience while the city and university review the agreement.

"While everyone works to make certain that if and when UC police return to the streets of Cincinnati, that they do so after a full review of what they should be doing and how they should do it," Young said.  "So that we don't end up with another situation that we've just gone through, that we're still going through."

UC's new vice president for safety and reform, Robin Engel, issued the following statement after Wednesday's meeting:

The University of Cincinnati supports City Council’s ordinance to
halt traffic stops. We will continue to patrol and provide safety
services to students and residents within the neighborhoods surrounding
the university. UC looks forward to working closely with the city, law
enforcement and community leaders to improve community policing efforts
and develop a new Memorandum of Understanding. We expect this will
ensure fair and effective and policing practices.

Former UC Police Officer Ray Tensing made an off-campus traffic stop on July 19 that resulted in the shooting death of Samuel DeBose. Tensing is now facing a murder charge for that incident.

The university has pledged a top to bottom review of the UC police department including its practices, policies, procedures and training.