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Cincinnati City Council eyes moving 2 police district HQs to 1 building

Cincinnati police
Posted at 4:11 PM, Apr 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-22 17:59:48-04

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Police District 5 headquarters moved to a temporary home in a College Hill strip mall last year, but a proposal intended to save taxpayer money would have the officers moving again to a permanent home shared by District 1 police.

City Council members David Mann and Amy Murray proposed moving District 5 and District 1 headquarters into a shared facility at the former One Stop Permit Center on Central Parkway as a cheaper option than building a new HQ. The money saved could go toward a Columbia Parkway retaining wall fix, they said.

"Almost any time you build a police station, it's a substantial investment," Mann said.

Rehabbing the current location would cost more than $20 million. Relocating to the former permit building could just closer to $9 million. Or they could combine the two districts into the one building for, potentially, greater savings.

Mann said there are still plenty of outstanding questions that need to be answered.

"Will this work? Can it work? Will it produce better policing, or not?" he said.

If the council members' motion passes, the Cincinnati Police Department will answer those questions by considering the idea from a fiscal and operational standpoint. CPD officials said it's too early in the process for them to comment on the proposal.

College Hill resident Carnell Johnson said he thought the move could be positive.

"I think they'd still make good time," he said. "Pretty efficient time."

However, others are concerned. Hope Dudley works at a beauty shop across the street from the current temporary District 5 headquarters.

"Knowing that they were there gave the community a little ease," she said.

Police would maintain a substation in College Hill under the proposed plan. Dudley said she worried combining the two police districts could lead to confusion among residents, slower response time and less accessibility.

"If I pay my taxes, which I do, and I'm supposed to have a police substation in my district, that's what I want my funds to go towards," she said.