Cincinnati Enquirer: Crime's up and arrests down
Cincinnati officers arrested almost 30 percent fewer suspects - about 18,000 people - last year, compared with 2000. Emergency calls increased more than 17 percent and violent crimes - murders, rapes and aggravated assaults, for example - jumped 40 percent.
Criminal cases in Hamilton County courts declined 20 percent between 2000 and last year. Arrests by city police drive the county court workload.
The decline in court cases is "the most conclusive proof I've seen" of a police work slowdown, said Hamilton County Court Administrator Mike Walton. "The police were not making arrests."
The increase in crime doesn't surprise Stefanie Sunderland, a Northside resident who has been crusading on behalf of her neighborhood. She sees it every day.
Officers are reluctant to go after big groups of African-Americans, fearing they'll be charged with racial profiling in the wake of a Justice Department civil rights investigation, Sunderland said. She barely sees a neighborhood officer who used to be the most aggressive cop she knew.
"I think what's happening is just appalling," Sunderland said. "Basically we have given people license to commit criminal acts in our neighborhood without repercussion.
"We might as well put up a sign in the neighborhood and say, "Welcome criminals."
Commentary by Chad D. Baus:
Due to the unconstitutional ban on carrying a concealed weapon for self-defense, Hamilton County, and the entire state of Ohio, are already hanging a sign that says "Welcome criminals".
And Bob Taft laments at the decline in revenue from tourism?