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UC - Limit UC Police patrols to Campus only as response to UC Officer shooting of unarmed man

BalthezarBalthezar 1588 replies62 threads Senior Member
In the wake of the tragic 7/19 shooting death of a man initially stopped for a missing license plate, the university has stopped UC Police patrols of the neighborhoods surrounding the uptown campus until further notice. I am not taking a position on whether the officer was justified in the traffic stop and subsequent chain of events that led to the shooting. What I am concerned about is that the 78 officer UC police force is no longer patrolling off campus. I'm about to deliver my daughter essentially into the protection of UC (of course, as usual she'll have to employ commonsense too) for the upcoming fall term in three weeks, and I'm concerned that the university's assurance that Cincinnati police will be patrolling the neighborhoods adjacent to the uptown campus in lieu of the UC Police stand down may not be as effective as, or manned in sufficient numbers as, the UC Police force has in the past. There are reports of neighborhood protests, and people up in arms regarding the Cincinnati prosecutor's refusal to release the officer's body cam video of the shooting, although he has said it will be released after a grand-jury decision in the case. If they don't indict the officer, my concern is that there may be rioting. I'm very concerned about placing my daughter into that type of potentially volatile situation.

Most universities maintain their own police forces (especially in cities) because they can attune police procedures to the unique needs of the students, faculty and staff of the university that employs them. It concerns me that while there has been mention that patrols will be picked up by City of Cincinnati police, that details of those additional responsibilities have not been forthcoming. Having to pick up the duties of a 78 officer university police force is daunting to say the least. Does the city have the police manpower to adequately take on the additional responsibilities, or will the frequency and/or number of patrols suffer? All currently unanswered as far as I know.

In addition, I mentioned the experience that UC Police have with the student community. Dealing with college students, and their adjustment to the new found freedom of the college experience, can sometimes be at odds with the responsibilities of the police to maintain an orderly public environment. I can't imagine that the City of Cincinnati police have as much experience in dealing with, shall we say, rambunctious college students as do the UC Police, and are more likely to see everything as a nail to be hit with their usual hammer.

I hope the situation resolves itself, and the UC directive limiting UC police patrols is reversed. At any rate, I wanted to make you aware of the currently unfolding situation. Your thoughts?
18 replies
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Replies to: UC - Limit UC Police patrols to Campus only as response to UC Officer shooting of unarmed man

  • BalthezarBalthezar 1588 replies62 threads Senior Member
    Just an update: UC Uptown campus to be shutdown at 11am today as Grand Jury set to release their decision regarding the UC Officer-involved shooting.
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  • guyk27guyk27 88 replies5 threads Junior Member
    While at orientation in June, I was surprised to see and learn a couple of things...the first was that I made an evening stop at Walgreen's (next to the Krogers being renovated, on "Short Vine") and bumped into a campus security officer doing a walk-through of the parking lot there. I'd seen the same guy a little earlier, over by CCM. Made me go "hmmmm".

    The campus safety briefing was the next morning, and I was (again) surprised when I found out that not only were the campus police a fully-accredited police department, and that they had patrol zones that included the immediate off-campus area, and that they were armed. My immediate thought was that it must have been necessary at one time or another (and it also explained the security officer I saw the previous evening). At the time, I didn't have a problem with this.

    I will admit that the most recent news is not only disconcerting, but the response is disconcerting too. I don't worry about my son, other than he has never lived in an urban environment like this. On my walkabouts this last June, I did not feel uncomfortable, and even struck up a conversation with a stranger or two, but not everybody feels comfortable like this.
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  • BalthezarBalthezar 1588 replies62 threads Senior Member
    Well we're from Chicago, so both I and my daughter are used to "knowing" what neighborhoods to either avoid and/or be alert in, depending on the time of day. Time of day, by the way, is key to watch out for. A neighborhood which may be fine during the day, you might not want to be in at night. There are some seedy areas around UC, just as there are in Chicago. Being alert is the key, and not traveling alone. UC's Nightride service will help with that. The neighborhood around UC is much better than it was in previous years, but it's definitely not one of the more crimefree areas of the city either.
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  • daapmomdaapmom 191 replies38 threads Junior Member
    i went to University of Maryland and lived off campus. there was crime and there were no UMD police officers patrolling off campus. You just have to be smart. Don't walk alone at night........look like you know what you are doing and aware of your surroundings........on and off campus
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  • BalthezarBalthezar 1588 replies62 threads Senior Member
  • BalthezarBalthezar 1588 replies62 threads Senior Member
    Officer indicted for Murder of the unarmed motorist. "Purposeful killing of the motorist" according to prosecutor. Should calm the community, however. So riots not likely, which is good news. Body camera footage will be released.
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  • BalthezarBalthezar 1588 replies62 threads Senior Member
    I just saw the video from the officer's body cam. The car is pulled over for not having a front license displayed. I couldn't hear the conversation, but both the officer and the motorist are speaking in calm tones. At one point the motorist hands the officer a fifth of alcohol, and the officer asks him to get out of the car twice. Then it looks like he starts slowly rolling away, and less than a second later the officer draws his gun and fires right into his head while still at the front edge of the side window. It doesn't look like he was dragged. Once he fires, the car accelerates quickly, but the prosecutor says that the motorist is dead at that point.

    This is really a tragedy. The prosecutor says that, in his opinion, UC ought not have a police force and Cincinnati should, instead, open up a 6th District right there on campus. He later states that "Clearly, there is an issue with violent crimes just off campus. Yeesh! That statement concerned me the most when I heard it. We'll just have to keep an eye on how things unfold now.
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  • daapmomdaapmom 191 replies38 threads Junior Member
    being the mom of a UC student that will soon live off campus and having just bought a house in Cincinnati........i am concerned about crimes. i am all for the UC campus police to patrol the neighborhoods surrounding campus where so many students live but not carry guns while patroling off campus....that is what the city of cincinnati police officers should be doing. It is a complete tragedy........the officer completely murdered that guy. as of right now President Ono is working with cincinnati police and the mayor to decide how to deal with patroling of the neighborhoods. I am glad that there were no riots today.
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  • suzy100suzy100 5695 replies58 threads Senior Member
    The Cincinnati prosecutor is a huge proponent of the Cincinnati Police Department, so it's not surprising that, given that history and the circumstances of this shooting, the prosecutor is advocating that the Cincinnati PD take over patrolling the areas outside of the campus. I have a huge amount of respect for President Ono and have full faith that he will make the right, reasoned, and fully-informed decision about this.
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  • BalthezarBalthezar 1588 replies62 threads Senior Member
    Suzy, I have confidence in President Ono too. That's not my concern. The issue, as I see it, that's disconcerting, is the statement by prosecutor Deter that there is clearly an issue with violent crime in the neighborhoods "just off campus". Violent crime? That's news to me. They need to provide many more details about that admittance by a city official, and, if true, increase police presence in the area by whatever police department takes over. Shoot, I'd been assured that the situation wasn't a concern and the area was improving greatly. If it's bad, then be honest about it, and put appropriate resources to work to control it.
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  • BalthezarBalthezar 1588 replies62 threads Senior Member
    Thanks for the link to the article, DaapMom. I've got a call into the UC PR Director, informing her of my concerns that in the aftermath of this tragedy that UCPD "get back to normal" and at the same level of patrols (if not greater due to the simmering tensions in the neighborhoods) that they were at before the incident. I told her I completely understand President Ono's temporary suspension of neighborhood patrols by UCPD, but, as that article clearly states, University Police forces handle the student community with much more nuance than non-university police.

    I also mentioned Prosecutor Deters' statement that there were clear violent crime problems in the areas just off campus, telling her I was very disturbed by that, saying I had been under the impression that overall crime had lessened greatly in the area from its highs in the early 2000s, and was getting better each year. Her response was that the prosecutor was just trying to bolster his case, but she would have a UCPD spokesman call with more specific answers to my concerns.

    She thanked me for bringing up these concerns, indicating that they would be addressed in a later update to the UC community regarding the status of the incident and ongoing steps being taken in response.
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  • guyk27guyk27 88 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I've started and stopped several different replies -- I'm not as concerned for my son, who will be on campus this fall as a Freshman. I am, however, very concerned and empathetic for those of you who have children who will be off-campus. This is a very disturbing incident, especially given what's been going on around the country. The prosecutor is definitely helping to ramp up the rhetoric, and I would only assume there will be jurisdictional contests with the CPD and the UCPD.

    But on the other hand, UC isn't the only campus around the country in an urban setting. There must be plenty of schools that have gone through something similar, and have figured out how campus police and city police co-exist. It will take time, but I think these are solvable problems.
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  • guyk27guyk27 88 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Did everyone catch yesterday's email from Pres. Ono? There's been a new "VP of Safety and Reform" named.
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  • BalthezarBalthezar 1588 replies62 threads Senior Member
    Already emailed her. Asked the same questions that went unanswered above. No response as of yet. I'm fully convinced that UC is trying to do the right thing here. They're certainly busy, I know. But not directly addressing the issue of patrol adequacy post incident is puzzling. It certainly isn't going to go away. Not sure you all have clicked on their web page link aggregating information about the incident:

    http://www.uc.edu/officer-involved-shooting.html
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  • BalthezarBalthezar 1588 replies62 threads Senior Member
    Just updating. I have a response from Robin Engel, the new UC Vice-President for Safety. I am copying salient portions of her email here. She directly responds to the questions that I have raised regarding the patrol levels both pre and post incident. Here is a portion of her email response:

    ===despite the misreporting in several news outlets, the level of patrolling off campus will not be reduced. We have been paying for additional Cincinnati Police patrols for a few years now and will continue to do so – these CPD deployment patterns will not change. And the UCPD officers can be off campus. Their only restriction is that they will not be engaging in traffic enforcement (i.e., not stopping cars for minor traffic offenses). But they will be visible on campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods both on foot and in cars. I will personally be meeting with the CPD District Captains every two weeks (as I have for the last two years) – we will make sure that we continue our success in reducing crime around campus. Also, as you will see in the news today, we have just hired James Whalen as a new Director of Public Safety, while Jason Goodrich will remain as our Police Chief. Another new position – Director of Police-Community Relations – has been created and will be filled by Greg Baker. I have worked with both Jim and Greg for many years and trust their leadership. Our goal is to enhance both effective and equitable policing practices. Please know that safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors will remain our primary priority.===

    That greatly relieves my concerns. Comments appreciated.
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  • daapmomdaapmom 191 replies38 threads Junior Member
    i was just in Cinci for 3 days to set up the house we bought on Ada Street. I felt very safe
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  • daapmomdaapmom 191 replies38 threads Junior Member
    With the start of the new academic year quickly approaching, we want to reassure you that the University and the Department of Public Safety are strongly committed to providing a safe campus environment.

    To help ensure your safety and the safety of our faculty, staff and visitors - UC Police will resume patrolling neighborhoods surrounding UC's Uptown campuses today - Friday, August 14. Patrols will be in accordance with Cincinnati City Council's most recent actions, which restricted UCPD from traffic enforcement. Both the Cincinnati Police Chief and City Solicitor support the reengagement of UC Police patrols in neighborhoods as defined by Cincinnati City Council.

    Although UC Police will no longer be involved in traffic enforcement, they will continue to respond to calls for assistance (call 556-1111) and conduct high visibility patrols to enhance the safety of students and community members who live and work near our Uptown campuses. The same level of police and security personnel, as deployed during previous semesters, will patrol area streets and work hand-in-hand with Cincinnati police and other community partners to prevent crime and provide vital safety services. Additionally, Cincinnati Police will continue to provide extra patrols in neighborhoods surrounding the Uptown area.
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