A project credited with curbing violence in Boston in the 1990s is headed for Cincinnati.
City Manager Milton Dohoney will start negotiating a contract with David Kennedy, the criminologist who developed the Boston Gun Project, and the University of Cincinnati. City Council members – they set aside $750,000 during budgeting for an anti-violence project – voted Wednesday to authorize Dohoney to work out a contract.
“It’s urgent that we move forward with this issue,” said Councilman Cecil Thomas, a former police officer who’s chairman of council’s Law and Public Safety committee. He said he hopes the contract can be settled by early next month so the work can be under way by summer.
ighty-nine people were victims of homicide in Cincinnati last year. Council members have repeatedly said that’s unacceptable and that it’s time to do something new. As of now, the local project is called the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence.
“Crime is more pressing than any other issue,” said Councilman Jeff Berding. “I think this is our best chance for success.”
Kennedy’s Boston project started in 1995, and its Operation Ceasefire in 1996. That involved identifying the city’s gang-involved repeat offenders and essentially warning them that they were being watched, and that every agency involved in crime and prosecution – from Boston police to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms – was on board with this zero-tolerance approach.
Lt. Col. James Whalen, Cincinnati’s assistant chief over investigations, said he thinks the Boston plan can work here once it’s tailored to Cincinnati’s specific crime issues.