City outlines plan for temporary District 5 amid recent cancer cases


CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - 35 officers will move out of District 5 headquarters in the next 30 days amid concerns over a suspected cancer cluster there sickening past and present officers.

On Wednesday, Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac pledged to move the officers amid intense questioning by city council members.

The city manager followed up on that promise in a memo released late Friday. It details the plan to move administrative staff to a temporary location at Spinney Field Training Complex by Oct. 31.

The memo contains a timeline prepared by Isaac, who also writes the move is "short-term" because the training complex, located in Lower Price Hill, is needed for normal officer functions.

Only District 5 administrative officers will move to the Spinney Field complex. After that, the employees will move to a former PNC bank on Colerain Avenue in camp Washington. The department expects to sign a two-year lease agreement for the building, Isaac said.

"The Police Department is working with the City Facility Management to ensure both properties are in good condition and pose no environment concerns," the memo reads. "Representatives of both the police department and the City Facility Management have toured the properties."

The memo also outlines "Long Term Needs" for District 5. A city-owned property at 3300 Central Parkway will be the new District 5 police station. The renovation process is underway, Isaac said, and will be complete in 2019.

City council members have demanded to know why the officers were not moved out of the 60-year-old Ludlow Avenue police station over the summer to another police facility in Camp Washington.

City and police administrators announced the plan back in May and then quietly abandoned it by early August without a backup plan or explanation to the public or Council.

"How many more people have to die at District 5?" Councilman Charlie Winburn asked his fellow council members Wednesday as he introduced a motion he wrote overnight to shutter the building by the end of October under a "State of Emergency."

Sgt. Dan Hils announced Monday another District 5 officer was recently diagnosed with cancer, joining more than 30 other past and present officers who have become sick or died from the disease, according to Hils.

Tests conducted at Hils request turned up no major issues, but those figures seem too high to Hils and the widow of a former District 5 police specialist has sued the city, alleging conditions in the building caused her husband's cancer and 2015 death.

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