The Loveland Safety Service Center was a busy polling location yesterday during the mid-term election.

Cassie Mattia is a resident of Historic Downtown Loveland

Loveland, Ohio– For nearly 20 years, The Loveland Safety Center has been committed to providing the best emergency services to the community of Loveland. Now the local police and fire department are finally being rewarded with much needed renovations to the emergency hub located at 126 South Lebanon Road. 

The Loveland Safety Center has been the home to both The Loveland Symmes Fire Department and The Loveland Police Department since 1998. The center has also provided a place for many other local operations such as, The Loveland Mayor’s Court, Loveland’s Emergency Operations Center, a polling location for Hamilton County Board of Elections, many training events and a natural disaster emergency shelter location. In 2004, the roof of the safety center collapsed taking down an entire section of the building. Surprisingly, since the roof collapse there hasn’t been any major repairs made making the employee living and working conditions not compliant with professional standards. Chief of Police, Dennis Sean Rahe, says the renovations are long overdue.

“The repairs to the center are vital to its continued operations. The roof of the Safety Center is a combination of pitched metal and flat membrane. The flat roof portion has not been significantly repaired or replaced in over twenty years and leaks on a regular basis,” Rahe explained, “The water that intrudes into the internal workings of the building continues to cause even more damage. The Center has seven roof mounted heating and ventilation systems that are also more than twenty years old. They require repair several times a year to keep in operation. In addition, the City included several security enhancements after an audit by the Department of Homeland Security.”

The Center has seven roof mounted heating and ventilation systems that are also more than twenty years old.

Chief Rahe joined the Loveland Police Department in 1998 after serving as a Hamilton County Sheriff Deputy for a year. 

“After joining the department, I became active in in bike patrol and served as a field training officer. I was promoted to Sergeant in 2007 and Captain in 2010. I was appointed the Chief of Police in 2016. I received a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati, attended the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy, and graduated from the Certified Law Enforcement Executive (CLEE) program,” Rahe said.

In 2018, the City of Loveland finally added funding to the budget for significant Safety Center renovations.

“In July 2018 The City of Loveland secured the architect services of McGill Smith Punshon to design the necessary repairs. Major repairs are needed on the heating and ventilation system, roof, and parking lot. The project also includes construction to bring Safety Center prisoner processing, evidence, armory, and employee living and working conditions into compliance with professional standards. Finally, lighting and security enhancements are planned for the campus,” Rahe said.

The Loveland City Council approved a bond for up to 1.35 million dollars to complete all the repairs to the Safety Center. In addition, The City of Loveland and The Loveland Symmes Fire Department applied for a FEMA grant for the Safety Center project.

According to Chief Rahe the benefits of the project are endless.

“The entire Loveland community will benefit from these repairs. Although the City team members use the facility the most, the Safety Center is used for a variety of public community events,” Rahe shared, “It is the primary method the community members use to interact with the Loveland Police and Loveland Symmes Fire Department administration offices. The three primary repairs to the heating and ventilation, roof, and concrete will ensure our community can park at the Center, have heat and air conditioning, and a roof that is not leaking on them. The security enhancements will ensure the safe and continued operations of the facility. Finally, the lighting efficiency enhancements will save the community money in operating costs,” Rahe said.

Not only will the upgrades to the Loveland Safety Center naturally make the building safer for the employees working inside, but it will also allow law enforcement and emergency responders to exceed the Loveland community’s needs and expectations.

“We are proactively looking forward to our community’s emergency service needs for the next twenty years. Law enforcement is being asked to provide more services than ever, to do some quickly, professionally, and cost effectively. LPD is continuously looking for ways to meet, and exceed, our growing community’s needs,” Rahe explained, “Twenty years ago the Loveland Police Department held prisoners at the Safety Center, processed their own evidence, and did not have any need for an armory. Today, LPD no longer keeps arrested persons at the Safety Center, we never process evidence (that is transported to a State of Ohio crime lab,) and we now train with a wide variety of tools, equipment, and evidence, each which have specific storage needs.”

Loveland Symmes Fire Chief, Otto Huber, also weighed in on the Safety Center renovations and how excited both the police and fire department are about the upgrades.

As we move forward to upgrading the building to meet the needs of both agencies today and into the future we are excited about continuing to share the facility with the Loveland Police.

“Twenty years ago, the Police and Fire Departments merged their operations under one roof. At that time, the Police Department was in City Hall and the Current Fire Station on Lebanon Road needed to be replaced,” Huber said, “A committee of police officers and firefighters met for several months to design the current Safety Center. Several meetings were held with the public on the location and design of the facility. At that time, the public and the Council chose the current location and design from three different options. For the Fire Department, it has been a great experience being alongside our counter parts in the Police Department. As we move forward to upgrading the building to meet the needs of both agencies today and into the future we are excited about continuing to share the facility with the Loveland Police.“

The Loveland Safety Center renovations are expected to be completed in the summer of 2019. If you would like to explore the world of the Loveland Police Department or the Fire Department you can visit Loveland Ohio Police Department or Loveland Symmes Fire Department on Facebook.



 

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