Cincinnati, OH – Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters has requested that Ohio Governor Mike DeWine deploy National Guard troops to help curb gun violence in the neighborhood of Price Hill.
Deters said that there have been 20 homicides in the area in the past 45 days, which made June the deadliest month in nearly two decades, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
"When you can't have your little kid go out in your yard and play out of fear of a stray gunshot, that is bulls--t," the prosecutor railed. "Why not put [the National Guard] out on street corners and say, OK, they have their body armor on, they got their helmets on, they got their automatic weapons. You want to do this stuff?"
Deters contacted DeWine on Tuesday afternoon, and asked him to send troops to the Price Hill neighborhood.
The governor immediately contacted Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac about Deters’ suggestion.
Chief Isaac blew off the idea, and said that it was unnecessary.
"That is definitely not what we want to do," the chief told The Cincinnati Enquirer. "We don’t want to militarize our community. We’re concerned about the loss of life.”
“This is a challenge every city in the Midwest is going through,” he added. “We’re going to continue to work hard."
Chief Isaac said he needs more police officers to get the department fully staffed.
The city council has been looking at ways to help the department with hiring, and is also trying to figure out how to afford adding lights in high-crime areas and keeping recreation centers open later to provide people with alternatives to committing crimes.
"I know [Chief Isaac] is doing his best... but I am telling you right now, they don't have the budget, the manpower to handle it," Deters said. "If I was the governor, I would put the National Guard on the streets of Price Hill right now. I would not put up with this anymore."
Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach was appalled by the concept of bringing soldiers into the city.
“This sounds like the beginning of the Handmaid's Tale," Seelbach argued. "Crime is down. And yet, he's talking about putting armed guards in a neighborhood."
Despite the deadly spike in June, the city’s crime rate has been lower or on-par with years past, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.
The number of shootings in the city reached a 10-year low in 2018.
On Wednesday, DeWine announced that he has turned down Deters’ request to send the National Guard into the city, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
The governor said he plans to ask the legislature to increase the penalties for felons found in possession of firearms instead.
“We need that,” DeWine said. “If you talk to detectives, if you talk to people who work in the cities, what they will tell you is this will enable them to make arrests and get convictions for people who are causing most of the violence.”