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Policing in Cincinnati, Ohio - Official Policy and vs (Versus) Civilian Reality

NCJ Number
Date Published
80 pages
This study of the Cincinnati Police Division focuses on use of force, distribution of services, and employment of minorities and women, along with State and Federal Government involvement, selected national issues in policing, and proposed solutions to current problems.
The Ohio Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights investigated the Cincinnati Police Division for 18 months. The Division provided extensive data on official policies and procedures, and the Committee held a 2-day fact-finding meeting at which civilians as individuals and as representatives of community organizations presented their concerns about police practices in Cincinnati. Police officials and officers, local and county enforcement personnel, city administrators and legislators, and the Mayor participated in the fact-finding meeting as well. The findings show a serious discrepancy between official policy regarding the use of force, distribution of services, and nondiscrimination in employment and the experiences of minority civilians and police officers. The minority civilians involved included racial and cultural minorities as well as the poor. A similar gap exists between official Federal policy regarding nondiscrimination by recipients of Federal funds and action by Federal funding agencies to ensure compliance. These discrepancies between official policy and practice and the citizen cynicism they breed will persist as long as civilians are not permitted to participate in policymaking and review of police practices and procedures. Recommendations are offered for closing the gap between official policy and actual practice, for increasing civilian participation in the operation of the Cincinnati Police Division, and for eliminating the unnecessary use of force. Recommendations are specifically directed to local officials within and outside the Police Division and to State and Federal officials. Tabular data and 222 footnotes are listed. (Author summary modified)