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Push for CIRV Comeback in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI (Deb Dixon) -- Taking out the Taliban gang in Northside back in 2008 was one of the first CIRV initiatives.

The thugs stole guns and sold them.  They had a Facebook page, a theme song, and an organizational chart.  They were taken out by Cincinnati's Initiative to Reduce Violence.

Northside residents took over, that's how it works when it's done right.

"We have seen we need to revive the strategy.  There are some difficulties we've experienced and I believe that our homicide rates and shooting rates demonstrate that."

UC's Institute of Crime Science director Doctor Robin Engel and Cincinnati police officers go around the world helping cities do what Cincinnati used to do, including Chicago.

The city shifted to a gang violence reduction strategy in 2012, after it was named the nation's murder capital.  Last year homicides dropped 20 percent.

"I do think we need to regroup and to move forward. A lot of other cities who started with our model have taken it to new level and I think it's time for us to do that."

It's not just lack of funding that diminished CIRV.  It's the changing of the guard, Police Chiefs and command staff.

Jeffrey Blackwell has been chief for 100 days, "We are recommitting ourselves to the CIRV model.  We're going to tweak it a little.  But we believe it certainly works and we are not looking to have 2014 with the numbers had in 2013."

Chief  Blackwell says he wants to focus on CIRV and on children; getting to them before a gang does.

Last year two of Cincinnati's 75 murder victims were 17-years-old, one was 16, one 15, and two were just fourteen years old.

There's a national movement for strategies like CIRV.  And programs like it are being recognized by the justice department.  Sometimes there is federal money available to support these types of programs.




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