Cincinnati Police Department

City of Cincinnati Police Department
Common name Cincinnati Police Department
Abbreviation CPD

Patch of the Cincinnati Police Department

Logo of the Cincinnati Police Department

Badge of the Cincinnati Police Department

Flag of the City of Cincinnati
Agency overview
Formed 1859
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* City of Cincinnati in the state of Ohio, United States
Map of City of Cincinnati Police Department's jurisdiction.
Size 79.54 sq mi (206.0 km2)
Population 296,943
Legal jurisdiction Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Cincinnati, Ohio
Police officers 1,000
Unsworn members 125
Agency executive Eliot Isaac, Chief of Police
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Cincinnati Police Department is the primary law enforcement agency of Cincinnati, Ohio. The department has 1,057 sworn officers and 281 non-sworn employees.


When Cincinnati incorporated, as a village, in 1802, a ‘night watch’ was established, primarily to guard against fire, but also to ensure the peace. The organization of a police force, similar to those in larger cities, came in 1859, with the appointment of the first police commissioner.[1]

Cincinnati also, has a museum dedicated to their police force, known as The Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society Museum.[2]

In 2012, after 154 years, the Cincinnati Police Department finally replaced their white shirts, with blue shirts, but they still wear white hats.[3]

Former Chief Jeffery Blackwell was fired by the City of Cincinnati as police chief on September 9, 2015. Eliot Isacc was sworn in as the CPD's Police Chief on December 10, 2015.[4]


Under the command of the police chief, the police department's responsibilities are divided among four bureaus: Administration, Patrol, Investigations, and Support.


Consists of the Special Investigations Section and the Criminal Investigation Section. This bureau handles investigations and gathers intelligence involving vice activity, homicides, sex crimes, crimes against children and property crimes.


Performs all primary police functions. Bureau personnel respond to citizen requests for police assistance, enforce criminal and traffic laws, investigate criminal activity, take offense reports and regulate non-criminal conduct. It consists of the five police districts, a Night Chief, Patrol Administration, Community Oriented Policing, Special Services Section and SWAT.

Rank structure and insignia

The Cincinnati Police Department uses these sworn personnel ranks:

Title Insignia Duties
Police Chief
Chief of Department
Executive Assistant Chief
Lieutenant Colonel, Commander of Administration Bureau
Assistant Chief
Lieutenant Colonel, Commander of Departmental Bureaus
Commander of Patrol Districts and Sections
Shift or Unit Commander
Squad Commander. Manage relief officers and specialized units
Police Specialist
Police Officer


2001 Cincinnati riots

The 2001 Cincinnati riots were a reaction to the fatal shooting in Cincinnati of Timothy Thomas, a 19-year-old black male, by Steven Roach, a white police officer, during an on-foot pursuit by several officers. Businesses were looted, storefronts damaged, and small fires were set.[5] Since the riots, Cincinnati has set city records for murders and other violent crime, though the relationship between such crime and the riots is not clear. In 2006, 89 people were murdered in Cincinnati, setting a record for most murders since city records were kept.

Racial profiling

A local independent magazine, City Beat, published research that an "analysis of 141,000 traffic citations written by Cincinnati Police in a 22-month period found black drivers twice as likely as whites to be cited for driving without a license, twice as likely to be cited for not wearing a seat belt and four times as likely to be cited for driving without proof of insurance."

In December 2007, the RAND Corporation published a review of traffic stops found no evidence of a department-wide pattern of racial bias in the decision to stop. When looking at what happens after the stop, black residents in Cincinnati are searched at a higher rate than non-blacks in Cincinnati, and they are stopped for longer periods of time. However, much of these differences can be attributed to factors such as the location and time of the stop, the reason for the stop, and whether the driver in the traffic stop had a valid driver’s license. When RAND accounted for these factors and matched stops of black drivers with stops of similarly situated non-black drivers, RAND found that officers searched black and "matched" non-black drivers at nearly the same rates in situations where officers have discretion whether or not to search.

Owensby, Irons & Tyehimba

A black businessman, Bomani Tyehimba, filed a lawsuit in 1999 against the city of Cincinnati. He claimed that police illegally ordered him out of his car, handcuffed him and held a gun to his head during a routine traffic stop.[6] Unlike previous cases, there was a shift to introduce a policy and procedure change in CPD behavior.

The case was escalated in relevance when two further incidents occurred. Roger Owensby, Jr. died November 7, 2000 while struggling with police. The Hamilton County Coroner's Office found that he died due to manual asphyxiation from a chokehold either while the chokehold was being applied or afterwards from his injuries and the way he was positioned in the back of the cruiser. Early in the morning hours, after Owensby's death, Jeffery Irons, another black male, was killed after taking a sergeant's gun and shooting another officer.

See also



  1. "Spotlight On… The Cincinnati Police". Cincinnati Police Department. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  2. "Greater Cincinnati Police History". The Greater Cincinnati Police Museum. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  3. Dixon, Debra (October 17, 2003). "For Cincinnati Police, the White Hat is Back". Local 12 News (Television production). Cincinnati, Ohio. WKRC-TV.
  4. "Police Chief - Police".
  5. Malkin, Michelle. "Yawning at black-on-white violence" Jewish World Review, 13 April 2001. 30 October 2006 .
  6. Gottbrath, Paul (2001-03-14). "Suit kicks off battle over racial profiling". The Cincinnati Post. Archived from the original on 2006-10-20. Retrieved 2007-10-01.

Further reading

External links

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