Beavercreek seeks police levy for new headquarters as current space squeezes department

Beavercreek voters will be asked to approve a 2.5-mill police levy this fall as the police department has outgrown its existing building, officials say.

Funds from the levy — one of two city levies on the ballot this November — would be used to maintain and increase service levels, hire five new officers, buy and maintain equipment and provide long-term funding for new police facilities. If approved, the levy would raise property taxes by $87.50 per $100,000 of appraised value beginning in January 2023.

Voters will also consider a 2.15-mill street levy, which would allow the city to increase service levels and hire five new employees. The proposed measure, beginning in 2023, would raise property taxes by $75.25 per $100,000 of home value.

Both the current police department building and city hall are nearing the end of their useful life, officials said. The 11,900-square-foot police headquarters was built in 1965 and renovated in 1997. The department quickly outgrew its space, from 46 sworn officers, eight dispatchers and three support staff to 50 officers, 12 dispatchers and seven support staff.

Officers have to store their equipment in multiple places around the building due to lack of space. The building also has no fenced or secure parking for police vehicles and equipment. A sally port, where detainees are brought into the facility, has been partially turned into storage.

The current police department is also located on a cul-de-sac off of Dayton-Xenia Road adjacent to city hall. The single entry point is a hindrance to better response times, said police Chief Jeff Fiorita.

“A centralized location with easy ingress and egress, where we can get out quickly and safely,” Fiorita said. “Where we’re at is not ideal.”

According to a report by Cincinnati-based architecture firm MSA Design, a potential solution involves combining the police department and city hall into one building. Cost estimates for that range between $21.8 million and $25.4 million.

Conducting major renovations to the police department would be relatively painless for city hall, per the report, but much more challenging for the police department. Temporarily relocating police operations while maintaining necessary privacy and security is “costly, tedious, and disruptive,” the firm said. Costs for renovating the buildings individually range between $11 million and $13 million, not including relocation costs.

The city has already purchased just over three acres of land along Seajay Drive near the Beaver Valley Shopping Center to construct the new facility.

Beavercreek remains recognized by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, which sets standards for law enforcement agencies across the country, though assessments for that accreditation have noted that Beavercreek’s facilities are a concern, Fiorita said.

In July, council members chose between three levy millage options to place on the November ballot, arriving at the 2.5-mill option to provide for long-term capital for police facilities.

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