CINCINNATI (FOX19) - In response to complaints from some leaders in other communities, Cincinnati city officials might research the cost and feasibility of enclosing the Cincinnati Police Department’s shooting range in Evendale to reduce noise.
Cincinnati Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman introduced a motion related to it Monday at City Council’s Law and Public Safety Committee meeting.
Council Member Amy Murray said Monday she hopes a common ground can be reached. She suggested the word “feasibility” be added into the motion as it moves forward.
The measure passed and could go to the rest of council for a full vote as soon as Wednesday.
A statement with his motion reads: "The city of Cincinnati’s shooting range location has been in place since 1940. New development has occurred around the shooting range which is impacting the quality of life for residents. The above motion is a small step in searching for a solution that supports the excellent training needed for our Cincinnati police officers but maintains quality of life for the surrounding area.”
Last year, leaders in three local communities asked to meet with Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley to discuss “chronic problems” with Cincinnati police’s firing range. They said they want it moved out of their area.
Then, mayor of Lincoln Heights and the mayor-elect of Woodlawn came before the committee last month to plead their case.
Lincoln Heights Mayor Ruby Kinsey-Mumphrey told them gunfire can be heard until 9 p.m. and it’s not fair to residents, children in particular.
Police officials said building a new firing range for Cincinnati police to replace the existing one would cost millions.
Cincinnati police would need about 30 acres of land and a 40,000-square-foot building, Assistant Police Chief Teresa Theetge told the committee.
Building a new outdoor range would cost $4.6 million, and the cost of an outdoor one would hit $9.7 million, she said, adding that those costs do not include the purchase of land.
Cincinnati police said they have tried to be good neighbors at the range over the years.
The facility is used 300 days a year and provides nearly 50,000 hours of training for officers annually.
It’s also used for police canine training.
The leader of the union that represents Cincinnati police, Sgt. Dan Hils, went before the council committee Monday before they discussed the firing range.
He said he was there to remind them for the need for a new District 5 headquarters. He said their current, temporary quarters off Hamilton Avenue in North College Hill are not considered a secure police facility.
Police also share the site with other businesses including a daycare facility.
Hils also said there have been rain and sewer backups there, most recently this weekend.
“To me, it was a reminder and it was a wake-up that police infrastructure in the city of Cincinnati has seemed to come secondary to other projects,” he told council members. “It should not become secondary. We live in an age of terrorism and potential civil unrest, which we have experienced in this city even in my career and the facility at District 5 is not prepared or equipped for those things....We are the city of Cincinnati, one of the finest, if not the finest in the country. Why is it we have our police officers working in facilities that were not meant to be police districts?