TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - There could be a new state highway patrol post near the University of Toledo.
Highway patrol and University of Toledo Police want to build a shared substation across from campus, at the corner of Dorr Street and Secor Road.
Tyrone Riley is the Toledo City Councilman for the area in which the station might be built. He is optimistic that it will be built and, despite mixed feelings from those that live in the area, wants to educate people as to why this new substation is a good thing for their neighborhood.
"A lot of residents are saying this is a great idea because they'll feel more safe," Coucilman Riley said. "They'll feel safe in their homes and on their property as well as on the road."
The highway patrol needs a new post because the small and aging facility near Swanton is no longer serving their needs, not to mention, it is far from most of its interstate patrol routes. The transportation building on campus is also slated to be torn down eventually per the University Master Plan.
Rather than building two expensive new facilities, it is more cost effective to build one with shared interview rooms, locker rooms and other resources to learn together. Both state entities would maintain separate spaces as well, within the same building for organizational purposes.
Jeff Newton, Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety at The University of Toledo, explained why this partnership would be good for not only both departments, but for tax payers as well.
"A big piece of this is the affordability efficiency piece and we feel like this would be difficult to achieve, again, if we pursued it alone," Chief Newton said. "But, having a partner there and being able to serve two agencies within one building, I think, is a big selling point to this project."
Captain John Altman, District Commander at the Findlay District One Headquarters that serves northwest Ohio, is optimistic about the opportunities this partnership could provide. Both departments working more closely with one another would enhance their communication and ability to learn tactics from one another.
"A House and a Senate bill have been introduced looking to obtain funds, approximately two million dollars to replace the aging Toledo post that was built in 1962 out on Airport Highway," Captain Altman said.
UT already has requested one million dollars from the state for construction of the shared building on what is now a vacant lot.
"There will be no reduction of any services," Captain Altman said.
Both departments plan to keep their full capacity of forces that they have now and will not impact the level of service for either organization if and when this facility is constructed.