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New Citizens On Patrol In Over-The-Rhine
Neighbors join with police to take a stand against recent violence and crime in Over-the-Rhine.
Despite being successful in most other city neighborhoods, Over-The-Rhine's Citizens on Patrol fizzled out for lack of support.
However, Over-The-Rhine is changing, and the new OTR Citizens on Patrol began training tonight.
Local 12's Angela Ingram shows how tonight marks a new beginning for the group.
Police say OTR has had Citizens on Patrol before, but it just wasn't as successful as they would have liked.
45 people have signed-up to say criminals are not going to take over the neighborhood.
Over-The-Rhine saw a dramatic drop in crime last year, but this year there's been a spike.
And people who've lived lived here for years want to keep the area safe, especially for children.
James McQueen, OTR Community Council:
"Like I said, I have three of my mine own and I would like for them to come outside without no gun shooting, gambling, just the violence on the corner and stuff like that any cause Over-the-Rhine is a pretty nice neighborhood."
Cincinnati Police began training volunteers to form the new Citizens on Patrol group for the neighborhood. They met at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in the heart of the community. Volunteers will mostly be eyes and ears for the police. They'll patrol in groups and radio in to police if they see anything suspicious.
Captain Gary Lee, Cincinnati Police Department:
"We have vehicles for them, they go out on foot patrol. This year we're instituting a bike program."
Ted Sippel and his wife are not from OTR, but they go to church here. Sippel has been disturbed by a recent uptick in shootings.
Ted Sippel, Volunteer:
"It's also had a problem with people seeing things happen and not coming forward and saying it's not my business. I'm going to stay out of this because I don't want to get hurt."
In an area where some say there's a code of silence and people won't talk to police, this group shows that they're willing to step forward and make a difference.
"You know there's a perception that people don't want to get involved. Well, I believe that this program and what we're experiencing tonight is a shift in that mentality."
The class graduates on August 1st. They get their first assignments on the third.