Tuesday, March 27, 2001

Police to step up presence on Burnet Ave.

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Extra Cincinnati police officers will patrol Avondale's Burnet Avenue strip starting in May to try to control the drug problem there.

        Two officers will work three or four days a week on staggered shifts, said Capt. David Ratliff, commander of District 4. They will work sometimes in cruisers, sometimes on foot, between about the 3000 and 3500 blocks of Burnet.

        “It's going to become a concentrated patrol of officers to address the problems of drug trafficking, thefts from autos and any other kind of criminal activity,” the captain said Monday. “We'll make a difference down there.”

        Burnet Avenue is what the Cincinnati Police Division calls a “hot spot,” meaning a place that sees more crime and needs attention. It was designated as such months ago, Capt. Ratliff said, long before last week's meeting in Avondale that brought him and Lt. Col. Ron Twitty face to face with residents and business owners complaining about the lack of police presence.

        The assistant chief said that the division could help, but that it needs the community to cooperate.

        Tom Jones, president of the Avondale Community Council, said Monday he'll organize a committee of residents to help. He had asked for eight additional patrol cars but acknowledged Monday that he had been “reaching for the sky.”

        He said he expects the additional patrols to last 18 weeks.

        “What they're proposing is a fantastic step in the right direction,” he said. “We're all on the same page now.”


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