Saturday, July 27, 2002

Settlement plan gets $75,000

By Steve Kemme,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A private New York foundation has agreed to provide initial funding for one of the key programs in the collaborative settlement of the racial profiling class-action lawsuit against Cincinnati police.

        The Andrus Family Fund, which promotes community reconciliation, will allocate $75,000 for the Community Partnering Program, which will train the community to work with police in solving problems and in studying police practices and goals. The Greater Cincinnati Foundation will provide a matching $75,000 grant.

        “This program is very important,” said the Rev. Damon Lynch III, president of the Black United Front. “It allows police and the community to partner in community problem-solving. It helps community residents identify the underlying issues of which crime may be a symptom.”

        The racial-profiling lawsuit was filed last year by the Black United Front and the American Civil Liberties Union. The collaborative settlement, which included an agreement between the city and the U.S. Department of Justice, still must be approved by a federal judge. .

        The Black United Front and the ACLU, responsible for arranging the funding of the Community Partnering Program, applied for a grant from the Andrus Family Fund, part of the Surdna Foundation, one of the largest family foundations in the country.

        “This is really a big deal,” said Al Gerhardstein, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. “The most important thing we have to do under the agreement is to make sure the community understands the shift in policing we expect. That takes training.”

        Steve Kelban, executive director of the Andrus Family Fund, said Cincinnati has the opportunity to be a national trendsetter in resolving problems between the community and police.


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