New police substation reclaims former crime hot spot

New substation location in former “Red Point” storefront

Back in the day WHRF shared an office with the Cincinnati Police substation on the corner of Hemlock and McMillan. We moved out and set up our own digs and now the officers at the substation get a chance to try out a new space of their own. Starting in mid-December, the police substation will be moved to 921 E McMillan (better known as the Red Point).

“That area of McMillan has been improving as far as safety goes,” said probation officer Nick Kern, one of the officers who will be working out of the new substation. “We’re excited to be there and to help continue that positive transformation.”

The Red Point was once a center for drug activity, and WHRF worked together with the Cincinnati police to get it shut down. In less than a year, a storefront which was once a hot spot for crime will become a hot spot for safety. The old sub-station location will be improved to attract a new ground-floor retail or office tenant. Now, that’s progress!

Get involved in Walnut Hills and have a great time doing it

Big plans are in the works for 2013 in Walnut Hills, but it will be impossible to accomplish anything without the help of Walnut Hills residents and supporters like you. We’re talking about neighborhood clean-ups on Saturdays, litter pick-ups along E. McMillan St., the Cincinnati Street Food Festival, graffiti removal and other yet-to-be announced events. We don’t see this so much as us asking for help, but rather as letting you in on some cool opportunities. We just assume that we all WANT to do everything we can to make Walnut Hills better!

So for now, just click to EXPRESS INTEREST. No specific date commitments are needed right now, just give us an email address and area of interest so that we can contact you with specific opportunities to help out. Oh, and all the cool people are going to be there.

Upcoming Alley Clean-up Day: April 27th

Speaking of volunteer opportunities…Have you ever glanced down a forgotten alleyway and wished it was cleaned up and usable again? Now’s your chance to spend a few hours on a Saturday to make a tangible difference in the neighborhood.

Join our clean-up team on Saturday, April 27 from 9 am – noon to begin the transformation of the 5-point alley network between Gilbert and Copelen Streets. Each month throughout the Summer our team will focus on recapturing and reviving this unique asset in the neighborhood. In partnership with Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, we will be busy sweeping leaves, pulling weeds, picking up litter, removing graffiti and trash, and removing honeysuckle in the area.  As well, we will spruce up our business district corridors on McMillan and Gilbert by mulching the tree beds and picking up litter.

Come be a part of making Walnut Hills beautiful!  If you are interested in helping out in April or throughout the Summer please sign up at the link above or email

Walnut Hills Safety Perceptions: survey results are in!

In an effort to obtain information about the perception of safety in our neighborhood, the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation (WHRF) conducted a baseline survey during February which was received by both residents and non-residents.   A total of 158 surveys were completed with 105 (or 66%) identified themselves as living in the 45206 area code.  There were responses from residents of 28 other neighborhoods. Keep reading for a summary of the results, or download the complete results as a PDF

The survey was part of the partnership the WHRF has with LISC who provided grant funding for the Foundation to participate in their national Community Safety Initiative (CSI).  CSI has provided guidance to communities interested in establishing police/community partnerships and has promoted cross-site learning to help practitioners replicate successful strategies across the country since 1984.

Our survey was distributed to email lists by the Walnut Hills Area Council, Walnut Hills Business Group, members of the WHRF Board of Directors.  It was placed on the WHRF website as well as included in the February distribution of the WHRF e-newsletter.  In addition to the online requests, the WHRF distributed surveys at the February meeting of the Walnut Hills Area Council and partnered with neighborhood businesses and organizations to provide hard copy/in person responses at the following locations:

  • Cincinnati Public Library, Walnut Hills Branch
  • Parkside Café
  • Bush Recreation Center
  • The Brew House

The survey actively accepted responses for a total of 14 days.

Walnut Hills is seen as safe by residents with 82.7% responding that they feel safe “most of the time” and 11.5% feel safe “all of the time

The top four quality of life issues that residents identified as the “biggest” problems were:

  • Drug Activity (62.7%)
  • Trash (52.4%)
  • Nuisance Properties (50.0%)
  • Robbery/Theft (39.0%)

The four quality of life issues that residents identified as “occasional” problems were:

  • Violent Crime (55.7%)
  • Robbery/Theft (56.0%)
  • Gang Activity (48.5%)
  • Poor Street Lighting (45.9%)

While loitering and panhandling were not provided options, the dominate write in responses for “other comments” included these two offenses.

Residential respondents saw Walnut Hills as a good place to live with 52.4% responding that they are “somewhat satisfied” and 23.2% are “very satisfied” with Walnut Hills as a place to live.  However, there is significant improvement needed in the overall physical appearance and cleanliness of Walnut Hills (apartment and building conditions, litter, lighting at night, abandoned cars, open lots with garbage, etc.).  A total of 50.4% of residents described the overall appearance as poor and needing many improvements 48.5% described the overall appearance as fair and needing some improvements.

On the question of is the neighborhood getting better 58.3% believe that it has gotten better in the last  twelve months, while 35.9% feel that it has stayed the same.

The WHRF anticipates conducting annual safety perceptions surveys as one of the opportunities to receive feedback from the community.

About the CSI:

The Community Safety Initiative (CSI) is a national program of LISC which supports strategic partnerships among law enforcement, residents, business owners and members of other neighborhood institutions to reduce crime and spur investment in troubled neighborhoods. Since 1994, CSI has helped establish police/community partnerships in dozens of cities nationwide, and has promoted cross-site learning to help practitioners replicate successful strategies. By adapting proven models to fit local circumstances, CSI partners are saving time and resources and achieving more sustained improvements in community safety.

Citizens on Patrol help keep Walnut Hills safe

Citizens on Patrol members are the eyes and ears of the neighborhood. Wearing uniforms and supported by law enforcement, patrolling members signal to potential criminals that they are being watched. In partnership with the Cincinnati Police Department, these brave Citizens reduce and eliminate crime in neighborhoods with the help of the people that live and work in them.

We have an active Citizens on Patrol group in Walnut Hills. These volunteers have received training and guidance from CPD and are supervised and supported by our CPD liaison officer. If you’ve ever felt unsafe or complained about some of negative and illegal activities in Walnut Hills, here’s your chance to do something about it. Anyone can join Citizens on Patrol. Here’s what you can be expected to do as a COP member:

  1. Attend three training sessions (upcoming: May 2, 9, 16, from 5:30-9:00pm)
  2. Patrol a designated area in a courteous and professional manner
  3. Check the status of vacant buildings and report unusual occurrences
  4. Maintain documentation to track membership hours and involvement

The next deadline to apply to be in the Citizens on Patrol program is May 2, so you have plenty of time to think about it! If you’re interested in becoming a Citizens on Patrol Program member, please download THIS FORM, fill it out and submit to the Program Coordinator:

Police Officer Princess Davis
Citizens on Patrol Program Coordinator
Cincinnati Police Department
310 Ezzard Charles Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45214-2805
princess.davis (at)