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News from Our Police Department - Issue #11

Take a bow North Ridgeville!  According to NeighborhoodScout, who analyzes crime statistics to help people find safe places to live, has again ranked your city as one of the top ten safest cities in the United States to live.  

While the Police Department will take a small bit of credit for this accomplishment, we certainly realize the majority of the kudos goes out to our law abiding citizens who understand that safety is not the sole responsibility of the Police Department, but all who live here.  By you reporting suspicious conditions, your willingness to share information and your past financial support of the Police Department, we as a community have been able to prevent many of the crime related issues that are currently plaguing other cities.  

On November 2nd, the Police Department will again be asking its citizens to help make their community safer by voting for a proposal that would allow for the construction of a new police station. Some of the key issues surrounding the need for a new building include the following:  

Growth
Many people don’t realize that out of the 247 cities in Ohio, North Ridgeville is the 26th largest in terms of square miles (23.6) and 37th in terms of population (35,280).  While we have welcomed 13,010 new residents in the past twenty years, our population density (number of people per square miles) remains relatively low when compared to other surrounding cities (see chart below):
CitySquare MilesPopulation *Population Density# of Police Officers
Avon20.8524,8471,191 people per square mile40
Avon Lake11.1325,2062,264 people per square mile34
Elyria20.7652,6562,536 people per square mile85
Lorain24.0865,2112,708 people per square mile98
North Olmsted11.6732,4422,779 people per square mile49
North Ridgeville23.635,2801,494 people per square mile42
Westlake15.9434,2282,147 people per square mile55
* Data is based on 2020 U.S. Census  
 
So what does all this mean?  This illustrates North Ridgeville still has a lot of land for future growth and the population will continue to rise.   If the rate of growth we have seen in the last 20 years continues, by 2030 there will be more than 41,000 people living here (density would still be only 1,737 people per square mile – still more opportunity for growth).  For the Police Department, increased population means more calls for service, more people coming on station, more arrests being made, more police officers being hired and more equipment, records and evidence being taken in and stored.        

Current Building
The current police station was built in 1975 and was added onto in 1996.   When the addition was built city officials touted it as a “seven-year Band-Aid” until a new police station could be built.  Well the Band-Aid has held for the past twenty five years but it’s growing extremely tight and getting worn out.   As you can imagine, our 24 hours a day, seven days a week operation has taken its toll on this 46-year-old facility and there is no additional space to be had.  The building lacks sufficient space for the public, police employees and the current and future needs of this agency. If fortunate enough to have a new station built, the plan for the “old” police station would be to house other city departments that are also in dire need of additional office space.  

Proposed New Building
Upon voter approval, the new station would be located on Ranger Way across the street from the North Ridgeville Academic Center and High School (together these buildings house approximately 3,500 students). The new proposed location would be optimal in regards to response time and may deter significant issues.

In addition, this location is city-owned property and would not require any land acquisitions. Preliminary work such as boring samples, surveying, and determination of wetlands has shown it is a viable site. In terms of space, the new police station would be 7,233 gross square feet larger than the current station with the ability to house sixty officers for possible future growth. Additional land is also available at this site if future expansion would ever be needed.

Cost
The overall cost estimate for the new building is $12,441,096. Voters will have an opportunity to vote on Issue #11 in the November 2nd General Election to support the new police station.  Issue #11 is a 20-year, .81 mill bond issue, and if voter approved, homeowners would see an increase in property taxes based on the chart below:

Home PriceDaily CostWeekly CostMonthly CostYearly Cost
$100,000
$.08$.54$2.36$28.34
$150,000$.12$.82$3.54$42.51
$200,000$.16$1.09$4.72$56.68
$250,000$.19$1.36$5.90$70.85
$300,000$.23$1.63$7.08$85.01

While the cost of building supplies continues to rise every year the current rate to borrow money is very low, potentially saving the City hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest.  And, through design choices - single story structure, flat roof, no basement, standalone storage garage (metal fabricated building), and less essential items such as an indoor firing range have been eliminated from the project in order to bring the cost of the project down.

In closing, the community is continuing to grow and the Police Department is in need of expansion and together we need to plan for our future.  Please consider the above information when going to the polls on November 2nd.  We appreciate your continued support and by working together we can make a difference!  

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call me at (440) 327-2191.

Sincerely,
Chief Mike Freeman


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