Cincinnati police weigh need for PR following shooting

CINCINNATI: Scarred by mob violence and racial unrest stemming from

the April 10 shooting of a black man by a city police officer,

Cincinnati is looking for ways to help refurbish its image.



For starters, the city's police department is considering hiring a PR

firm to help it with future media relations and image-building

efforts.



It has been heavily criticized for the recent shooting, which sparked a

series of riots and is the latest in a string of 15 similar cases dating

back to 1995.



The department held press conferences twice a day during the riots. 'It

was just a learning experience for us,' said Lt. Ray Ruberg, public

information officer. 'Now we want to see if there are things we could do

better' in dealing with media.



The mayor's office is forming a commission of local business and civic

leaders to address racial issues underlying the incident. Charlotte

Otto, global external relations officer for Proctor & Gamble, one of

Cincinnati's leading employers, met with city officials early last week

to discuss involvement in the commission. P&G chairman John Pepper is

expected to be tapped to head the group.



The city manager's office plans to reach out to area PR experts for

advice on what it should do to help Cincinnati's image in the business

world.



'We will work with corporations and PR departments throughout the

region,' said Gina Ruffin Moore, communications officer.



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