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Added foot, bike patrols hit Cincinnati streets

CINCINNATI — Twenty additional police officers went on patrol across the city Friday night. Many walked; some biked. Chief Eliot Isaac said he hopes having more officers out in the community will calm Cincinnatians’ nerves and discourage crime after a deadly July 4 shooting in Smale Park.

“Good idea,” said Ingrid Robinson, who went for a walk in the park Friday with her great-nieces and nephew. “And I think it keeps some of the, excuse my language, riff-raff away, the troublemakers. They need that down here."

Sixteen-year-old Milo Watson died at Smale on July 4. Police believe he was shot by — and was shooting at — 19-year-old Dexter Wright, who died shortly afterward at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Three other teenagers were struck in the crossfire but survived.

Neither gun had been recovered by Friday night.

District 1 commander Capt. Matthew Hammer, whose district includes Over-the-Rhine, Pendleton and the West End, began overseeing increased foot patrols in his neighborhoods several months ago.

"Our presence (is) so that we can monitor the situation, so we can provide a sense of safety and security and make sure folks know that we're here, available, we're ready and willing to act if necessary,” he said Friday. "It's all about being agile, it's about having the right resources available at the right places at the right time. So depending on how we organize our officers, if we can have a contingent that can respond quickly as circumstances change throughout the city, I think that's really useful.”

Tammy Marhart, who lives along the riverfront, visited Smale on Friday, too.

“It makes me feel pretty safe,” she said of the added police presence. “It’s just something that I feel like that will be noticed, and it’ll make people feel safe all over.”

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