CINCINNATI — The neighboring communities wanting Cincinnati police to move their shooting range took their case to City Hall Monday but didn’t get the reception they had hoped for.
Called a “war zone” by the mayor of Lincoln Heights, the gun range has been in the Village of Evendale, outside Cincinnati city limits, for 70 years, and leaders from Evendale and municipalities brought their complaints about hearing gunfire at all hours of the day.
They also brought video filled with sound from the gun range.
Leaders had been pushing to meet with Cincinnati City Council, but when they got a chance during Monday’s open meeting, they got pushback.
There’s no debating the noise. But what came up for argument is when it happens.
“We were told that their hours were from 9 to 3. That is incorrect. Incorrect,” said Village of Lincoln Heights Mayor Ruby Kinsey-Mumphrey.
“Today was kind of like a shock to me,” said Brian Pool, vice mayor of the Village of Woodlawn.
Community leaders say the sound starts well before 9 a.m. and goes until 9 p.m.
“We listen to artillery – high-powered artillery – late at night when our children are preparing to go to school,” Kinsey-Mumphrey said.
When WCPO went to Evendale three months ago to report on the shooting range, the sound was even more startling.
The range provides nearly 50,000 hours of training for officers every year.
“If we claim to be good neighbors of all of us, then please demonstrate that," Pool said. "But today we did hear a lot of misinformation that is not true."
Cincinnati police Chief Eliot Issac told council that police rarely have evening training, but that shouldn’t be happening on a day-to-day basis. If it is, he’ll resolve that, Isaac said.
Moving the range would be good for residents and help attract new development, community leaders say. But the city says it would be costly.
“The challenge in these types of things always comes down to dollars and cents,” said Isaac.
The price tag:
- $4.6 million to build a new outdoor shooting range;
- $9.7 million for an indoor one.
And that does not include the purchase of land.
Besides, police have other needs, Isaac said.
“We’re in need of a new District 5. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future with District 1. And now we’re talking about a possible or potential relocation of the target range? That’s a lot of dollars for a city,” Isaac said.
Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman said that probably would require a capital expenditure and unanimous approval of council.
Kinsey-Mumphrey and Pool said Lincoln Heights and Woodlawn won’t purchase the property. They just want the city to move the range.
“Our option is for them to find whatever resources they have to move the shooting range. That’s the option that’s best for us,” said Kinsey-Mumphrey.
“At this time, we're not interested in this land because it is a brownfield,” Pool said.
Community leaders say the noise isn’t just a nuisance; it damages the quality of life.
“They talk about our children, our crime statistics,” Kinsey-Mumphrey said, “Well, they have to listen to this from the time they’re born – when they go to school, when they come home.”
And it limits chances for development, Pool said.
“In order for us to do any type of further development on that site … that does pose an issue in the village of Woodlawn,” he said.
Council said it would continue the discussion early next year.