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Cincinnati's New Top Cop to be Sworn-In Monday

CINCINNATI (Angela Ingram) -- A new chapter begins for the Cincinnati police department Monday morning. Jeffrey Blackwell will be sworn-in as the chief of police. Blackwell is a 26-year veteran of the Columbus Police Department. Local 12 news reporter Angela Ingram joins us with what challenges the community thinks Blackwell will face.

People who live in Cincinnati say the violence they see in the streets and on the news is a concern. They're hoping Blackwell can bring some fresh ideas and a policing style that helps drive down crime in the city.

City manager Milton Dohoney says he chose Jeffrey Blackwell to be the city's top cop for several reasons.  He says Blackwell has more than 100 commendations in his personnel jacket, but one of Blackwell's main priorities needs to be driving down crime.

Some people who've lived here for years agree. Stephan hummons says "I would say just continuing the job that was done by the previous police chief.  Continue to make the streets safe and hospitable for everyone from out of town, the locals here". 

The city murder rate is a huge concern. Last year this time there were 35 homicides. That number has jumped to around 54 this year.

Some are hoping Blackwell can help get more guns out of the hands of criminals. Justyn Buie says "The ones that people are not supposed to have, yes, because I'm sure that the people that have them are supposed to have them for a reason, people who have them legally.  But the people that's illegal, I don't know, they shouldn't have their hands on guns."
 
FOP president Kathy Harrell says Blackwell will need a new recruit class to help keep citizens safe and neighbors would like to see a stronger police presence as well. "One thing I can say is that they definitely need to have a lot more police officers on the streets and they need to go back to when the police officers used to walk beats", says Trichelle Carter.

A federal investigation is currently underway looking into a unit under Blackwell's command in Columbus. Investigators tell us equipment on loan from the Pentagon to that unit was illegally sold. At a meet the press event downtown two weeks ago, Blackwell told local 12 news he's not concerned about the investigation.

Local 12 will cover Monday's swearing-in. Join us for the latest on Local12.com and Local 12 Live at noon.

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