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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cincinnati ron right track

U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott praised the Cincinnati Police Department for improved relations with the community on Tuesday while presiding over the last hearing of the Collaborative Agreement.

Dlott said outside monitoring of the department will end with one final report in October. The monitoring started in 2001 to improve relations between police and the community, spurred by the fatal shooting of an unarmed black suspect fleeing police that sparked rioting .

"It's said life is a journey, not a destination," Dlott said. "Never were truer words spoken than about what was accomplished here. I want to congratulate each and every one of you for the most successful plan like this in the United States."

City Manager Milton Dohoney will create an advisory committee to address bias-free policing and Cincinnati police will establish a team to continue problem-solving crime fighting and build on reforms already in place.

Monitor Saul Green said a tremendous amount of progress has been made.

For instance:

Use-of-force reform. The department started out with huge problems in regards to use of deadly force and is now far more judicious about using it.

Cincinnati now has a professionally led civilian review panel. It's a process respected by the community and officers for its impartial work by professional investigators.

The department embraced the philosophy of community problem-oriented policing. "I really feel good - and say so whether I'm in Cincinnati or out - the collaborative agreement was unique; it was brave, and it has the best chance of resulting in a permanent state of good police-community relations," Green said. [Mark Godsey]

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