Is it? No! Here's some living proof:
The few blocks highlighted in this "study" are merely a small sliver of the much larger "Over-The-Rhine" neighborhood and yes, when you take historical data of crimes that occur in this area, they are quite high, but I'm sure if you took the number of crimes that occur on the street I live on then divide it by the small number of residents, you'd also get a high number.
From February - March 2008 I was on an assignment from Ohio University in which I participated in three "ride alongs" with officers of the Cincinnati Police Department's District 1. I love Cincinnati, but for the sake of photography I was kind of hoping to catch some compelling photographs of crime in Cincinnati since District 1 patrols some of the most "notorious" areas of the city such as Over-The-Rhine, the West End in addition to the riverfront and Mt. Adams.
The truth is, I was underwhelmed. I took away some of the best photographs from my Photojournalism career, but most of the time was spent watching the officers deal with small incidents that were followed by citations rather than "violent crime" or just going about a patrol. That's not to say crime doesn't happen, but it doesn't happen as often as people like to think. All three officers I rode with agreed: Crime in Cincinnati, particularly in OTR (which includes the "most dangerous" section in the aforementioned "study") has decreased at an incredible rate.
The full multimedia piece for the project entitled "Civilian Observer" can be viewed here:
The photo project was incredibly eye opening and gave me a chance to see what crime in Cincinnati was really like. The men and women of the Cincinnati Police Department, especially District 1, have been a key force in driving crime down. It's a shame that their efforts get overlooked by "studies" such as this one.
Need more proof that Cincinnati isn't as dangerous as they say it is? Imagine walking down into one of these "notorious neighborhoods" at midnight. Why would anyone do such a thing? What if local radio 700 WLW radio personality Bill Cunningham dared you to go down to the corner of "15th and Vine St." at midnight on a Saturday night? Would you be able to stomach venturing into one of "the worst neighborhood in the United States?" I did...
...and it was pretty boring. The only person who said anything to me were some drunken college kids heading towards the bars on Main St. No one tried to rob, rape, stab or kill me.
To get the full story on this little adventure check out: Streetcars, Bill Cunningham and a field trip to Over-The-Rhine.
Over-The-Rhine doesn't deserve the reputation it gets as being a rough and tumble, crime filled neighborhood in the city's center. True, crime happens and crime has existed on a larger scale in the past, but to see what Over-The-Rhine is becoming today, check out the most recent update from Zach Fein over at Local.Architecture Cincinnati:
What once was blight in Over-The-Rhine...
...is now becoming one of the fastest growing renovation projects in Cincinnati...
For more photographs and information on the multiple renovation and redevelopment projects going on in Over-The-Rhine, check out the most recent post at Local.Architecture Cincinnati.
So let's review:
Is there crime in Cincinnati? Yes.
Is it as bad as 'they' say it is? No.
Is this "study" crap? Yes!
Until next time,
-Ronny "Gordon Bombay" Salerno
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Previous update: June 14, 2009 :: The Catacombs of Cleveland