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Cincinnati Police District 5 will be absorbed into other districts by the end of the year

The new boundaries of Cincinnati Police Department districts, expected to be in effect by the end of 2023.
City of Cincinnati
The new boundaries of Cincinnati Police Department districts, expected to be in effect by the end of 2023.

A restructuring of the Cincinnati Police Department will eliminate District 5 and move the neighborhoods in that area to other districts by the end of the year, officials announced Tuesday.

The new map includes four districts plus the Central Business Section, down from five districts plus CBS. The plan avoids the need for a new District 5 headquarters, after years of debate over where to put one and how to pay for the $20 million to $30 million cost of a new facility.

City Manager Sheryl Long says the lease for the current District 5 facility — in a strip mall on Hamilton Ave. in College Hill — will expire at the end of the year.

"Facilities issues in District 5 have persisted for many years and the current location of the District 5 headquarters is a temporary space that does not fully meet the needs of the department," Long said. "City leadership has spent months studying data to determine how best to deploy police resources and continue providing the best services to our communities ... through that process, the path forward became clear."

RELATED: Former CPD District 5 HQ will be renovated into space for Cincinnati Parks workers

Long and Police Chief Teresa Theetge say residents should expect no change to police services or response time. Theetge says about 90 people are assigned to District 5 and will be reassigned to other districts, without any job loss or demotions.

Theetge says patrol officers rarely need to be in the district headquarters.

"Their vehicle is equipped with so much technology — computers, body cameras, in-car cameras — everything is in their vehicle, that is like their mobile office space," she said. "A large majority of their day is spent in their neighborhoods — they don't come back to the district until it's quittin' time for the day."

Theetge says they used several data points to draw the new boundaries, including calls for service, crime, population and optimal staffing analyses.

Theetge will host two town hall meetings in June to answer public questions:

  • Wednesday, June 7, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the College Hill Recreation Center
  • Tuesday, June 27, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Winton Hills Recreation Center

The personnel of District 5 must be out of the current building by Dec. 31. Theetge says CPD will start executing the redistricting plan in mid-November or early December.
All neighborhoods currently assigned to District 5 will be assigned to other districts. And, two neighborhoods assigned to District 4 will be reassigned (Mt. Auburn to District 1 and Walnut Hills to District 2); plus Mt. Adams will be assigned to the Central Business Section. Here's how affected neighborhoods will be distributed:

NeighborhoodCurrent DistrictNew District
College HillD5D3
Mt. AiryD5D3
Camp WashingtonD5D3
Winton HillsD5D4
Spring Grove VillageD5D4
Mt. AuburnD4D1
Walnut HillsD4D2
Mt. AdamsD1CBS

See a map of the district boundary changes at the end of this story.

City officials first publicly discussed the possibility of fewer police districts about a year ago. Then-interim city manager John Curp included funding in the city budget for a Public Safety Facilities Master Plan. As of early April, the city had put out a request for proposals for this study and was evaluating the responses.

"The RFP study will continue," Long said Tuesday. "What we're trying to do is just be very strategic and kind of get an idea of where is the city going long term from a public safety standpoint."

Asked why the city is moving ahead with redistricting before that study is complete, Long said they were facing a deadline with the current District 5 headquarter lease expiring.

"Studies are just something that we use as information, and it allows us to speak to what is the next step for us," Long said. "And so working collaboratively, we may have that, that may happen, or we may decide that we have made the best decision right now."

RELATED: Cincinnati Police reassigning officers to get more police on patrol

CPD is budgeted for 1,059 sworn officers and currently has 957. A lack of patrol officers in particular has caused the department's overtime budget to spike over the last few years.

Chief Theetge told Council last month CPD was in the process of moving 20 officers from current assignments to patrol, and plans to retain another 24 patrol officers over the next year by reducing the number of new sergeants as the current ones retire.

See a comparison of the former boundaries and the new boundaries below (slider is interactive):

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.