Mayor Cranley’s strategy to reduce violence has been a blend of smart community oriented policing and developing holistically our City’s children to have greater skills to resolve conflict without resorting to gun violence and greater skills to pursue careers to provide for their families.
Mayor Cranley takes a hands-on approach to work with our police in the pursuit of a safer community. In doing so he has participated in ride alongs with the City’s Fugitive Apprehension Squad, walked with Citizens on Patrol and hosted community forums in all five police districts to listen to citizens.
Mayor Cranley believes that policing efforts are important to our residents who are sometimes innocent victims of today’s violence, but a policing strategy alone treats the symptoms, not the disease. The disease is inequality and unacceptable disparities in health, wealth and education, especially pronounced in our African American and Latino communities. We must provide better living wage jobs for men and women in our community, which is why Mayor Cranley has invested in the Hand Up job training efforts that are putting people into good-paying jobs. Since May of 2015, over 900 participants have graduated the Hand Up job training program and 455 have successfully been placed in jobs. Mayor Cranley is also engaging the business community to be part of the solution and has helped to recruit business leaders to participate and contribute to our Child Poverty Collaborative. Government alone cannot fix these problems; we need employers to help too.
The Collaborative Agreement, cultivated our city’s progressive approach to civil rights and police-community relations and led directly to the use of the smart policing strategies we employ today. This approach has led to civil rights leaders marching with the police instead of against them and resulted in then U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch calling Cincinnati a national role model. We have made much progress. However, it has been 14 years since we entered into the original agreement and our police and communities are dealing with new issues that didn’t exist then. One example of this is the use of body cameras. Balancing transparency and privacy –both virtues that deserve to be honored – is tricky, and we need to get it right. That is why Mayor Cranley called for this agreement to up updated and refreshed.
To oversee, Mayor Cranley asked Saul Green, who was the court appointed monitor of our police department, to come back to Cincinnati to review our approach to police-community relations and make recommendations on how we can improve. Mr. Green said, “I have never seen a community say let’s take a look back. To be back under these circumstances is a real joy.”