Cincinnati Police Jeffrey Blackwell addresses reporters Wednesday with Mayor John Cranley on his right. Gordon Graham/FOX19
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -
The city plans to spend $600,000 in police overtime from March through June of this year to increase law enforcement visibility.
On Wednesday, Mayor John Cranley announced the results of that crackdown. Officials said the police overtime initiative resulted in 500 criminal arrests and eight guns seized during the first 60 days.
Like many neighborhoods, Northside has had its share of trouble spots but since police have become more visible, crime is down and quality of life is up.
"I mean you look all around there's new businesses popping up left and right," Northside Community Association President Oliver Kroner said. "There's a lot of life here, a lot of energy."
Kroner credits police for getting rid of one particular trouble spot.
"Police asked us to be patient while they worked on it," he said. "Sure enough last month police raided the shop and reported drug trafficking, gun trafficking."
It's that kind of effort that seems to be paying off.
"Now that police are involved and they're doing the beat walks and such," Walnut Hills business owner Jim Swafford said. "And we've got a real good relationship with the District 5 police here and it's making a difference in the community."
Over in Walnut Hills, drug dealing is a persistent problem.
"We've had a lot of positive interaction with police in shutting down some problem drug houses etcetera," said Kevin Wright who leads the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation. "The corner right here has historically been kind of an issue with drugs and violence. "
Wright said combating the problem takes a multi-faceted approach.
"In order to truly get to the root causes of some of these problems it takes a comprehensive approach," he said. "It takes redevelopment efforts, so physical change and it takes community engagement."
Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell and Cranley said there's still a long way to go in their efforts to reduce crime across the city but the folks in Walnut Hills and other neighborhoods says police have made a good start.
Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:50 AM EDT2014-07-29 09:50:38 GMT
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