Citizens For A Better Norwood

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Would a “likely to commit…” list help Norwood?

This past Tuesday, the Cincinnati Enquirer editorial page gave a great amount of attention to a list created by Charlie Winburn, Melanie Bates, Chris Kearney and Todd Portune that identifies 1,546 people in Cincinnati who are likely to commit the next murder. While the Enquirer editorial board appears to be against the list and Jim Borgman likens it to McCarthyism, their position may reflect a vested interest. Without high crime to report on, they would actually have to depend on quality journalism to sell papers.

In Norwood, we don’t have such a list. Sure, murders do not happen in this city like they do in Cincinnati, but crime is of a great concern to most of us. We are seeing a call to implement a COP Program and a reinvigoration of the Block Watch program. Even on our blog we list the NPD police call statistics for the community every month.

The closest thing we have to a list is the one maintained by the Hamilton County sheriff for sexual offenders. How often is this list used by the general public? A quick review of the it shows that a large number of offenders live by Norwood parks and on main roads leading to the schools. Other communities are taking action to fight this trend, and we understand a stiffer ordinance is in the works here. In the meantime, many unsuspecting Norwood parents may very well be allowing their children to go to the parks not knowing of the possible danger.

We wonder what our Norwood neighbors think about this. Is the idea of a “Likely to Commit Murder” or a “Likely to Commit a Crime” List a good idea or is it McCarthyism? Is it good for Cincinnati, but not for Norwood?

UPDATE: Charlie Winburn and Melanie Bates are not kidding about their list. The two have a new website up called “the criminal next door,” complete with a Most Dangerous by Neighborhood Map with stats overlaid on each area. If we’re reading the map correctly, Norwood is the larger of the two whited-out areas. Are the numbers of “likelies to commit” surrounding us high, low, what? Does the NPD maintain a similar map for our neighborhoods at the station?