Public Safety

January 24, 2017

Safety & Reform Community Advisory Council


Welcome and announcements

Judge John A. West, Chairman

Jennifer Cherkauskas
Jeff Schlanger
Roberto “Taz” Villasenor
Denise Lewis

Update on Presentation to Law and Public Safety Committee - Cincinnati City Council

Dr. Robin Engel, VP for Safety and Reform
CAC Chairperson, Judge John West
Bishop Bobby Hilton
Pastor K.Z. Smith
Pastor Ennis Tait

Exiger Monitoring Team

Jeff Schlanger
Roberto Villasenor
Denise Lewis

Intro of Team
Explanation of Monitorship

Uniform Project

Dr. Engel

Next meeting:

  • Tuesday, February 28, 2017 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM in 320 University Pavilion
  • Tuesday, March 28, 2017 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM in 320 University Pavilion



CAC Members

  • Judge John West, Chairman
  • Eric Abercrumbie
  • Doug Barge
  • Bobby Hilton
  • Chara Fisher Jackson
  • Raven Jackson
  • Jack Martin
  • Mel Otten
  • KZ Smith
  • Terri Theetge
  • Charlene Ventura

UC Administration

  • Anthony Carter
  • Robin Engel
  • Maris Herold
  • Bleuzette Marshall
  • James Whalen

CAC Members Not in Attendance

  • Marcus Bethay
  • Mike Ealy
  • Peg Fox
  • Aaron Greenlea
  • Dolores Learmonth
  • Mitchell Phelps
  • Ennis Tait 
This table lists topics discussed at the meeting that need further action taken, the name of the person responsible for completing the action and the date that the action needs to be completed.
Action Items Responsible Person(s) Due Date
Post minutes of 1/24/17 meeting to website Engel/Morris 1/31/17


Judge John West

  • Welcomed members of the Exiger External Monitor Team. Members included Jeff Schlanger, Roberto Villasenor and Denise Lewis. Brief introductions of members. Also welcomed Jennifer Cherkauskas who is a consultant for UCPD, assigned as a liaison between the department and Exiger.
  • Congratulated Charlene Ventura on receiving the Great Living Cincinnatians award from the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber on February 16, 2017. 

Update on Cincinnati City Council Law and Public Safety Committee

Judge West and Dr. Engel

Dr. Engel discussed the presentation delivered to the City Council’s Law & Public Safety Committee Meeting on January 17, 2017. The UC Office of Safety and Reform also presented to this committee twice previously, on November 9, 2015 and April 25, 2016.

  • The presentation delivered at the 1/17/17 meeting was provided in hard copy to CAC Members. In addition, a link to the video recording was provided via email. (
  • UC staff in attendance at the Law and Public Safety Committee meeting included: Dr. Engel, Chief Carter, Director Baker, and Director Whalen. CAC members in attendance included: Judge John West, Bishop Bobby Hilton, Pastor KZ Smith and Pastor Ennis Tait. All attendees shared their thoughts on the meeting. They believed the team was well prepared and felt that the committee appreciated the reform efforts to date. Other CAC members who viewed the meeting online also provided positive feedback.
  • L&P Safety Committee indicated they would like UC Board of Trustee members to come to a City Council meeting.
  • Judge West recommended a follow-up to the BoT to ensure communication with City Council.
  • Members discussed the importance of filling the current vacancy on the BoT, and the need to change the culture of the university.

Exiger Monitoring Team

Dr. Engel

Introduction of Team:

  • Dr. Engel welcomed the Exiger External Monitor team, Jeff Schlanger, Roberto Villasenor, two familiar faces from the review team last year and Denise Lewis who worked with LAPD in a monitoring, and auditing capacity.
  • Jeff Schlanger discussed that while only three members are currently on site, they will bring in area experts if needed and agreed to by UC.
  • Exiger has been contracted to serve as an external monitor for three years, with possible extensions if necessary.
    • Jeff Schlanger thanked CAC members for trusting Exiger to complete this monitoring. 
    • Monitoring is valuable not only to tell departments what they are doing wrong, but also what they are doing right. 
    • Roberto Villasenor discussed that any agency in the country could have found themselves in this same situation. Everyone in the profession knows that there is a need for improvement and reform in policing. UCPD has voluntarily addressed the issues and will be an example for other departments, in fact, they will be setting the standards. 
    • One recommendation is to put an internal audit into place. The goal of this recommendation is to have UCPD independently ensure that they are operating in accordance with the guidelines and recommendations. 
    • Monitoring process has begun – UC and Exiger are working collaboratively to develop an implementation plan, and identify how each of the recommendations will be assessed for compliance. 
    • Some recommendations will be implemented directly, others will require presentation and discussion with CAC Members. 
    • The monitor will continue to follow a recommendation until best practices are being implemented. Public reporting, etc. are set into place to build confidence in the department and organization. 
    • UC and Exiger will jointly prioritize recommendations to be assessed in the first quarter. 
    • Minor changes and clarifications to the recommendations will be added as the two teams work together to meet compliance. 
    • Exiger will report findings on progress every quarter. They will be on campus at least during that time, more often if needed. Most of the monitoring can be done electronically and will only need to be observed quarterly. 
    • Semi-annual reports to assess progress during the quarter before and present quarter. Report will contain observations and possible recommendations if substantial compliance is not met. 
    • Exiger will examine all uses of force reports and citizen complaints on an on-going basis.
    • Exiger confirmed that the role of the monitor is to oversee the implementation of recommendations and report on compliance, not to be involved in day-to-day operations of the UCPD.


Judge West

Judge West opened meeting for discussion.

  • Question of whether we are making traffic stops again was addressed. Chief Carter assured members that traffic stops are only conducted in situations of immenant threats to public safety and also involve CPD.
  • As documented in the presentation to L&P Safety Committee, there has been a significant increase in traffic accidents and pedestrians struck in the ½ to 1-mile radius around campus. Dr. Engel has asked City leaders to work with UC in problem solving efforts to enhance pedestrian and vehicular safety.
  • Questions regarding open and concealed carry on campus were raised and addressed. Concealed carry is not allowed on campus. Open carry is protected by the US and State Constitutions and associated case law. Students, faculty, and staff are not allowed to bring firearms onto UC property. Members of the public can open carry in areas on campus that have been legally defined as public, but this does not include inside buildings on campus.
  • CAC Members expressed their views regarding the legality of these practices, and also raised concerns regarding fear.
  • Some CAC Members raised concerns about the culture within the UCPD and questioned how/when officers would report other officers for behavior that is perceived as problematic. UCPD officials noted that policies are in place and are being enforced in this area. Officer Barge discussed his role as union rep for the UCPD officers and their willingness to cooperate and come forward when they observed issues. 

Future Meetings

  • Tuesday, February 28, 2016 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM in 320 University Pavilion
  • Tuesday, March 28, 2016 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM in 320 University Pavilion