Lucas County approves land purchase for new jail

Lucas County approves land purchase for new jail
(Source: WTOL)

LUCAS COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - Lucas County commissioners have decided to move forward with buying seven parcels of land to build a new jail, but some community members are not on board and want the jail to stay downtown.

"They want to push it out of downtown Toledo but they're pushing it into neighborhoods," Joyce Slusher, a member of the group "Keep the Jail Downtown Toledo" said

Slusher is one of thousands of people part of this group on Facebook. She and others have concerns about the future jail site being near a neighborhood.

On Tuesday, County commissioners voted on purchasing five parcels of land on North Detroit Avenue and two parcels of land on Terminal Road.

The site could cost less than $1 million.

It was the number one site for a new jail five years ago. It went off the market and then went back on a few months ago.

The goal was to find a space that would make sense economically and also allow for one level as opposed to multiple levels.

"So, it's better, observation point for the officers to be able to observe a lot of activity that is going on at one time as opposed to having wings and having areas that you can't see around the corners," Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp said. "So, it makes it better, it's safer to be able to do it that way is to have a more open facility."

"We're not just going after one neighborhood, we're saying no neighborhoods," Slusher added.

The group has concerns about the safety of the neighborhoods if a jail were to be built there, but the county says it will make sure safety remains a priority.

"There are people that we will continue to work within the community that worry about a jail near their area where they reside," Lucas County Commissioner Tina Wozniak said. We are very conscious of those issues we are continuing to work with the neighborhood."

"We have looked at so many different locations, we also have asked for studies to be done at the downtown area," Sheriff Tharp said.

But Slusher says she and her group will not back down.

"They continue to say this is a done deal and we say it's not a done deal," she said.

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