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Council Members To Tour District Five Building As Calls To Close It Get Louder

Tana Weingartner

Some Cincinnati council members will tour the police District Five building on Ludlow Avenue Thursday morning.  

The Fraternal Order of Police is asking that remaining officers at the facility be relocated immediately because of health concerns.
FOP President Dan Hils and others have voiced concerns about the high rate of cancers among current and past District Five officers. The widow of one officer who died of cancer is suing the city.

Police Chief Eliot Isaac addressed the issue Wednesday during the weekly City Council meeting.

"It's a building. I have no attachment to that building. Shut it down," Isaac said. "But we must be able to put them (police employees) in a place where we can not only look out for their safety and provide them a safe working environment, but also not lose our commitment to the citizens that we serve."

Council Member Charlie Winburn wants all officers out of the Ludlow Avenue building within 72 hours. He is running advertisements on commercial radio asking the city to move the officers out of the facility. Winburn pledged Wednesday not to stop until the issue is resolved.

Isaac responded to directly to Winburn's 72 hour request.

"Mr. Winburn, in 72 hours ,to remove 140 personnel along with their vehicles and equipment, I do not see how that is realistically possible," Isaac said. "Without a location already being identified."
District Five administrative staff, who spent most of their time in the building, are already in another facility. Those who remain are patrol officers and supervisors who spend much of their shifts on the streets.

The city is working to remodel the former Permits Central location on Central Parkway for the new District Five headquarters. That project likely will not be completed until 2019.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.