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CIRV initiative leads to gang member round up

EAST PRICE HILL, Ohio (Angenette Levy) -- Cincinnati Police rounded up at least 15 suspected gang members Tuesday.

The suspects were identified through help from members of the community and intelligence gathering.

"This is a good day in District 3. We're very happy to have these people off our streets," said District 3 commander Capt. Dan Gerard.

Local 12's Deborah Dixon was the only reporter there as the SWAT team surrounded a problem house on Warsaw Ave. Police said shots were fired from an AK-47 at the house over there weekend and some fights had been reported.  Police found at least 15 people they were targeting and seven more that had outstanding warrants.

"I'm glad they've been arrested, I'm glad they're out of this neighborhood. This neighborhood deserves a break," said Patti Hogan, a member of the East Price Hill Community Council.

Hogan and others have worked to make the neighborhood safer through safety walks and programs such as Good Guys Loitering. Making Warsaw Ave. safer has been a priority and she said things have been getting better. Hogan had a message for the gangs.

"Stay out. That's all I can say: stay out of this neighborhood. We don't want you here," Hogan said.

Capt. Gerard said the roundup was the result of an investigation that started in January following six shootings. The gang members were targeted through the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence or CIRV. They were given the option to clean up their acts or go to jail.
"We've offered all these people at some point in time a way out of the life. They've decided not to take us up on this and so at that point in time we have to take enforcement action which is what we've done today," Gerard said.

Some of the gang members were from the neighborhood such as the Slutty Boys and the Cincinnati White Boys.  But some of the gang members came from Madisonville and caused problems in East Price Hill. Police seized heroin and guns. The end goal is to put the gang leaders in prison.

"East Price Hill is a challenging neighborhood. We're changing the perception of East Price Hill. Crime is at a 10-year historic low in East Price Hill right now," Capt. Gerard said.

Police partnered with CIRV and Hamilton County Adult Probation on the crackdown.

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