Columbus Outlines Plans for New Precinct Station

Columbus police commander Kimberley Jacobs listens to concerns(Photo: .)
Columbus police commander Kimberley Jacobs listens to concerns(Photo: .)

A proposed police substation for Columbus’ University District got mixed reviews last night at a public meeting. Representatives from the city and Ohio State University – the partners splitting the project’s $3,800,000 cost, fielded more complaints than questions from the audience.

A few people at the meeting complained about losing the current Precinct 4 substation near the intersection of Arcadia and Indianola. But the city says the building is too small and antiquated and it’s lauding the new partnership with Ohio State. According to the Columbus public safety department’s Barb Seckler, police protection does not depend on the substation’s location. “Not a single thing is going to change about the number of officers that patrol the University District, or the fact that they are in your cruiser district, for 3 shifts, 8 hours a day for a total of 24 hours. So whether the policing or substation is located on Arcadia, or it’s at 11th and Summit, or it’s in Findley, Ohio, you’re going to have the same number of officers.” Says Seckler.

The proposed two-story, 15,000 square foot building would be erected in the two-hundred-block of East 11th Avenue, much closer to the center of the district and the University. It would house police officers from Ohio State, offer certain city services to area residents and provide meeting space to community organizations. But several people said they’d been left out of promised public input.

“Nothing that you offered in your presentation gave me any indication that it was a sincere effort on your part to engage the community in the decision making process.” Says Robert Caldwell from Weinland Park

Others in the audience expressed surprise when they heard from an architect that building plans would be finalized in the next few months. One man asked for a delay, but another resident, Rosemary Vest, said she thinks the new substation is one answer to the area’s crime rate. which she says she’s seen firsthand

Plans call for the new substation to be completed in May, 2008.