Statistics Refute Streicher’s Claim

It’s official: National statistics are bearing out what many residents have been saying for more than a year, that Cincinnati’s homicide rate is increasing at an unusually fast rate.

According to statistics released Monday, Cincinnati ranks 15th highest in homicides on a list of 254 large U.S. cities. The survey includes metropolitan regions with populations of 100,000 or more. In terms of population, Cincinnati is the 56th largest city in the nation.

The FBI’s statistics count a 15-county region as Cincinnati’s Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city accounts for 69 percent of the region’s homicides, while only having 15 percent of its population.

Although the city’s overall crime rate has declined, homicides and violent crimes have increased dramatically. So far this year, Cincinnati has 62 homicides, on pace to surpass the 79 homicides reported in 2005. The city’s all-time homicide record was set in 1971, with 81 killings.

For the past two weeks, Police Chief Thomas Streicher Jr. has received much criticism after he discussed Cincinnati’s crime rate at a Sept. 5 press conference. At the event, Streicher described Cincinnati as one of the safest cities in the nation. Many residents said the chief’s remarks indicate he doesn’t recognize the scope of the city’s crime problem.

Streicher has claimed his remarks were taken out of context and unfairly reported by the media. Decide for yourself. Included here is a link to an audio file of the nearly 54-minute press conference, and you can listen to Streicher’s verbatim comments, along with those of Mayor Mark Mallory and other city officials.

Highlights from the audio file include:
13:56 – Chief calls Midwest the safest region in nation.
14:07 – Chief calls Cincinnati one of the safest cities in the nation.
27:07 – Chris Bortz says the city “hasn’t had an economic growth plan in years.”
27:40 – Question and answer session begins.
36:00 – Chief says other cities “kind of laugh at us” when residents complain about crime rate.
40:00 – Chief complains about media coverage.
42:00 – Chief talks about “crimes of opportunity.”
45:00 – Chief says: “We don’t guarantee anyone’s safety.”
47:00 – Perceptions about downtown crime.
48:46 – Complaints about how media treat police.
49:40 – Crime: Perception or reality?
50:02 – Jeff Berding talks about crime in Indianapolis.
51:09 – Chief talks about crime in Charlotte, N.C.
Money quote: “When is Cincinnati going to get a better image?” Streicher asks. “When the media says so.”

— Kevin Osborne

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7 Comments on “Statistics Refute Streicher’s Claim”

  1. Boner Says:

    What do you expect.!more Guns+more ignorance+more poverty+more drugs and or alchohol consumption+greed=more violence.If you did not see this comeing than youu are either stupid or have your head in the sand.


  2. On this thread, many of the posters are sure to make the same points they made on the Streicher Goes Ballistic thread. Me included. I’m saying to myself: KISS this time. Keep it simple:

    Police are not the experts on crime.
    Police cannot stop crime.
    Politicians create “crime” out of thin air by making laws that attempt to stop victimless “crimes.”

  3. Mike Says:

    Streicher needs to go. We need a new chief.

  4. Chris Bortz Says:

    Kevin,

    What about what I said first before mentioning economic growth? I think my initial comments were also supported by much of what was said by the mayor, Councilmember Cole, and the chief in the first 15 minutes of the press conference. Dont’ you?

    -Chris Bortz


  5. The audio file speaks for itself. Listeners can draw their own conclusions. That is, after all, the whole point of posting the file, as the blog entry mentions.


  6. “What about what I said first before mentioning economic growth?”

    Chris Bortz,
    Might you and/or “your people” have too much time on their hands?
    With that much time, how likely would it be to accidentally say something relevant?
    Evidently not likely.

  7. Ano nymous Says:

    If this is an economic growth plan for Urban Cincinnati, CB, do not forget the Urbanites. What good will it do our City if it cannot find a place where REAL people who live here fit in.

    We have young people who need real jobs with living wages. Jobs of this kind are fewer and fewer in the city or harder to reach by transportation. Regardless of what people think elsewhere , there are a whole lot of very good people living in the City who also want to feel proud of Cincinnati.


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