By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer
West End community activists begging for help to fight crime got a fatal punctuation to their pleas Monday - a 17-year-old girl was shot minutes before and a block away from where the mayor and police chief planned to meet to talk about extra patrols.
Residents already were fed up with violence before the afternoon killing, the second in the neighborhood in three days. Two violent incidents in less than a week - the stabbing Thursday of an undercover drug officer and the beating death of a man Saturday - pushed them to decide to add private security.
Community Council President Dale Mallory will ask for $10,000 as soon as today that he would like to use to fund private security patrols for the neighborhood.
"This is an emergency,'' said Mr. Mallory, who has lived in the neighborhood for all of his 43 years and says he has never seen the violence so bad.
"This,'' he said, "is just too much.''
Janeen Roseberry of West Ninth Street held a toddler in her arms when she was shot while riding in a car near the intersection of Findlay and Baymiller streets about 2:20 p.m. The driver, a man, took her to the West End Health Clinic on Linn Street, carried her in and left.
Police later charged Tyrone James, 18, with murder and were seeking him Monday night. His last known address was 416 Dayton St., West End.
Janeen was shot in the arm with a small-caliber bullet, which then apparently entered her chest cavity, police said. The child, described as a year to 18 months old, was not hurt.
Officers found the car, a rusted gray Chevrolet Cavalier, with a bullet hole in the upper right corner of the windshield. It was parked in a lot on Linn Street.
Mr. Mallory and Duane Weems, of the security firm Elite Protective Services in Roselawn, hope to meet today with Mayor Charlie Luken and Chief Tom Streicher. Monday's meeting had to be rescheduled because the mayor was tied up on other issues.
Both the mayor, who lives in the West End, and the chief said they support and welcome the neighborhood's efforts, but they expressed some concern about what the private security officers would do and whether they would be well-enough trained to be safe.
"It's just that they would be getting into dangerous situations for which they aren't trained,'' Mr. Luken said. "I would support anything, though, like Citizens on Patrol, anything where people can be more eyes and ears to help the police.''
Mr. Weems said some of his officers have the same state certification with firearms as officers do. And Mr. Mallory said he thinks private officers might have better luck than police in fitting in to the community.
The chief said private firms can be hired to protect private properties, but not legally to patrol neighborhoods.
"I understand people's frustrations,'' he said. "There's a tremendous influx of drugs that are here right now.''
Capt. Greg Snider, District 1 commander, said he hadn't heard of the community council's plan to hire security officers. But he said police "can use all the help we can get.''
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