When police discuss the number of gang-related shootings in the city today, it appears they’re publicly recognizing the pervasiveness of these violent factions.
Just a few years ago, top police brass rarely, if ever, used that four-letter word, normally referring to gangs as “groups.” If a shooting was gang-related, they’d prefer to say “group" or "member-involved incident.”
But with the city hiring two external chiefs in recent years and as homegrown cops receive more training on gang violence, their language is softening and the department’s recent actions targeting gang members seems to have prompted city residents to take notice.
“I think why people have been a little reluctant to use the word gang is because we don’t have a Latin King set for example,” said Blackwell, referencing more well-known, generational gangs like those in Los Angeles, Chicago or Philadelphia. “Call it what you want, the behavior is the same.”
WCPO Insiders may learn more about what Cincinnati police are doing to combat gangs and the intelligence-led initiatives the department is employing.