UC and City Leaders Present to Cincinnati City Council's Law and Public Safety Committee, Give Joint Statement on Development of Policing MOU

City of Cincinnati and University of Cincinnati officials provided an update on Monday, Nov. 9, to the Law and Public Safety Committee of City Council on the ongoing effort to create a revamped Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) detailing how policing will occur in and around UC’s Uptown Campus, which is located in the City of Cincinnati. A final MOU is expected in the spring of 2016 in order to allow for UC police officers to complete substantial reform efforts.

 

“The University of Cincinnati is an important partner in helping make our region successful,” said Mayor John Cranley. “I appreciate UC’s commitment to revising and improving its policing policies and to ensure their officers adhere to both the spirit and the letter of the Collaborative Agreement.”

 

“The University of Cincinnati appreciates the ongoing collaboration efforts with the City of Cincinnati,” said UC President Santa J. Ono. “Ensuring the safety of students and residents living in neighborhoods surrounding UC’s Uptown campus, as well as visitors, is critical to both the University and City.”

 

City Manager Harry Black added, “We will continue to work in close coordination with UC leadership on finalizing an agreement that reflects the values and priorities of the city’s long-standing community policing approach. In the meantime, the city and UC are committing to honoring the tenants of the city’s historic Collaborative Agreement, even before the final papers are signed.”  

 

Joint Statement

 

The City of Cincinnati and the University of Cincinnati are deeply committed to building, serving and sustaining safe, diverse and vibrant communities. Central to this vision is a positive, productive relationship between the public and the police, as affirmed in the City’s Collaborative Agreement from 2001. In the wake of the University of Cincinnati Police Department (UCPD) officer-involved shooting death of Samuel Dubose, we firmly believe that this vital relationship with the community must be healed and trust restored.

 

Partnering together, and guided by the higher aims set forth in the Collaborative Agreement, the City and the University will create a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to govern the policies and practices of the UCPD in the neighborhoods surrounding campus. The revised MOU will ensure that UCPD officers maintain similar professional standards, policies, training and community-oriented practices as the Cincinnati Police Department. Given the need to define and develop these critical improvements in a thoughtful and transparent way, as well as to partner with the community and to further advance UCPD’s training efforts in the near term, we expect the revised MOU to be finalized and implemented in Spring 2016.

 

In the meantime, UCPD will continue to adhere to the off-campus patrol restrictions mandated by City Council’s Emergency Ordinance (Number 264-2015). Specifically, UCPD will not conduct traffic stops in the neighborhoods surrounding campus; however, it will endeavor, as always, to keep the campus community, visitors and citizens safe and secure, responding to calls for service as needed.

 

In addition to partnering with the City to revise the MOU, the university remains steadfast in its commitment to reforming UCPD and enhancing community relations. The university’s ongoing reform and improvement efforts include:

  • Created three full-time positions to advance UCPD reform, ensure transparency and accountability and expand collaboration with the community;

  • Proactively hired Kroll Inc. to complete an independent, comprehensive investigation of the July 19, 2015, officer-involved shooting and released the results to the public on Sept. 11, 2015;

  • Launched an early warning system to ensure tracking, oversight and accountability of UCPD officer performance;

  • Conducted the first of multiple training sessions for UCPD officers and supervisors as well as community members in fair and impartial policing practices; and

  • Established a Safety and Reform Community Advisory Council.  

  • Drafted Request for Proposal (RFP) for comprehensive review of UCPD policies, procedures, practices, and training. RFP to be issued the week of Nov. 16, 2015

 

In order to implement the revised MOU between the City and the University in the spring of 2016 as scheduled, the university will work expeditiously to finalize and implement the requisite type and level of training for university police officers related to community policing, which process will include solicitation of public input. The city and the university stand united in making Cincinnati an even better place to live, work, learn, grow and serve.  As we move forward, our goal is to keep the community both engaged and informed.