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Cincinnati Police District 5 opens in new 'temporary' home

Posted at 2:59 PM, Mar 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-03 13:30:37-04

CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Police Department's "temporary" stay on Ludlow Avenue ended Sunday -- after more than 60 years.

District Five headquarters closed there (really, it's no April Fool's joke) and opened at a new location in College Hill for a while.

The department moved into 1012 Ludlow Ave. in 1957, but that was supposed to be a temporary fix. Staff who worked there, along with police union president Sgt. Dan Hils, said it had become a "dump" over the decades and demanded to be moved out.

"I personally wanted to bring as much attention to the building and its inadequacies as I could," he said. 

Hils even said some cancers cases might be linked to the building, but a federal investigation found no evidence to support his claim.

Still, the controversy grew to include Mayor John Cranley, city manager Harry Black and city council members such as Charlie Winburn, the last of whom accused other officials of personally "stonewalling" Hils' effort to have the Ludlow Avenue building closed for employees' safety.

A report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, released earlier this month, found "evidence does not suggest that the cancers identified among FOP bargaining unit employees are associated with working in District 5."

Some staff had already been moved to other locations; police closed the Ludlow Avenue building's lobby in late October. 

The new temporary District Five building is at 5837 Hamilton Ave., about 3 miles to the north. It opened for business at 7 a.m. Monday.

Even though the Hamilton Avenue location isn't "new," Hils said it's an upgrade. He said it's about 30 percent bigger.

"I think it's a good location, but it's not for me to decide," Hils said. "I think it's one where you interact with the community a lot, and the police district can have a lot of an effect on a community."

The city also has asked neighbors to help in planning for a new permanent home for District Five. The next meeting is 6 p.m. Tuesday at McKie Recreation Center, 1655 Chase Ave.