Our Stories

Submitted by: Jenell Walton

CINCINNATI- The Community Police Partnering Center (Partnering Center) participated in the 2nd Annual Dig In at Grant Park. Neighbors and volunteers came together to beautify the park by adding mulch and planting flowers in addition to taking part-in family-friendly events.

Grant Park in Over-the-Rhine has had its fair share of criminal activity over the years. In the past, residents have come together to push drug-dealing and prostitution out of the area. Now, the Community Police Partnering Center (Partnering Center) is working with residents, Cincinnati Police and the Cincinnati Recreation Commission (CRC) to make the park a family-friendly area.

“We’re working with the community to implement the crime-fighting tool known as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). CPTED focuses on the physical design of your neighborhood - fencing, lighting, plantings - to identify areas that may have the potential to attract crime,” said Partnering Center Executive Director Dorothy Smoot.

One of the first steps in problem solving is encouraging the community and all stakeholders to work together as partners to address and respond to community issues. The Partnering Center conducted a survey during the Dig In event, collecting more than 80 responses with the help of youth workers from CRC.

“These surveys are important, and we appreciate people taking the time to fill them out because they give us a snapshot of the Grant Park neighborhood. The survey covered questions about safety, programs residents would like to attend and amenities that would draw them to the park. We want to know what residents need from Cincinnati Police to feel safe at the park?” said Smoot.

The makeover of Grant Park, which is located at 73 East McMicken Avenue, started with a major renovation project and the addition of new playground equipment in 2015. The Partnering Center will serve as facilitator for residents who want to take back the park and make it a place where families want to come and enjoy the space. The surveys will be used to determine the next steps in making the park safer and more welcoming.