Welcome to Somewhere Over the Rhine

A site dedicated to Cincinnati's Over the Rhine neighborhood.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Repopluating OTR will reduce crime

I have always been a believer that repopulating Over the Rhine is the most important thing we can do to fix the neighborhood's crime problem. Putting more eyes on the street increases the chances that when a crime is committed someone will see it and be able to help police find the person who did it. One of the most frustrating things about crime in OTR is the fact that the police often have little to no help when faced with finding the person responsible for a crime. So, many people get away with doing bad things simply because there were no witnesses or the witnesses who they do have refuse to talk. This is precisely why we need more people who actually care about the city and keeping it safe living here and spending their time here.

Now I have proof of this concept after a weekend incident reported in the Enquirer. Police Chief Tom Streicher happened to be shopping at Findlay Market this weekend when he heard gunshots going off on a nearby street. He was off duty in regular street clothes and was shopping at the market. He was able to see some men running off to a car and followed them closely in his own private vehicle while calling police to pursue. They ended up catching and arresting the two morons who were responsible for this and both had criminal records and outstanding warrants for their arrests! Ha!

This is a perfect example of how more caring eyes on the streets will help change this neighborhood for the better. The two want-to-be gangsters who got busted this weekend did what they did because they figured there would be no one around to see them do it who would actually cared enough to help the police. It just so happens the person who saw them was an off duty police chief, but it could have easily been anyone shopping at Findlay Market that day.

If we want to see Over the Rhine succeed we need to look out for it ourselves. This means always having a watchful eye over things and being ready to help police when the time comes. Its no different than people in the suburbs keeping an eye on suspicious vehicles parked on their street or something like that. We need to protect our own neighborhood streets and sidewalks so that morons with guns don't get to just walk free any more.

The old philosophy of simply running to the suburbs and hoping the police can solve the crime is flawed. Many Cincinnatians still believe that the solution is to just stay away from Over the Rhine. This upsets me because I know that doing so only makes the problem worse. I've said for a long time that we could pour all the money in the world in to Cincinnati's police force and they would never be able to rid the neighborhood of crime. They need help in the form of watchful eyes on the streets and in windows at all times.

We need to continue to focus on attracting new residents and businesses to the neighborhood so morons with guns can't get away with acting stupid in OTR anymore.

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