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Cleveland breaks ground on its new police headquarters

The new police headquarters will take up a two-block space along the recently-opened Opportunity Corridor. [Matthew Richmond / Ideastream Public Media]
A dirt lot and a rendering of the new Cleveland police headquarters

Cleveland has broken ground on a new police headquarters on the city’s East Side. Construction on the two-block, empty site at the corner of E. 75 th Street and Opportunity Corridor is expected to start in 2022 and end in 2026.

“The old police headquarters was over 40 years old,” said Mayor Frank Jackson, referring to the Justice Center in Downtown Cleveland. “The way people work and the technology they use has changed the way we have to organize our office space.”

The new headquarters will have 180,000 square feet of office space. It will house police leadership, the Real Time Crime Center, where police officers monitor live video feeds from across the city, and special units including homicide.

“At a certain point in time you need to have a new structure built from the ground up that accomplishes all that without having to retrofit and having to try to fit round pegs in square holes,” said Chief Calvin Williams.

The ground floor will include a community plaza at the public entrance, community meeting rooms and public records.

“This is a building for the officers and the community, the entire Cleveland community,” Williams said.

City officials perform a ceremonial groundbreaking at the new Cleveland police headquarters site. [Matthew Richmond / Ideastream Public Media]

Both Williams and Jackson will leave government early in the new year. Outgoing City Council President Kevin Kelley also attended the groundbreaking.

Williams said construction of the new headquarters, along with a new police training facility at an unused high school, as he leaves the department is bittersweet.

“You know, things happen. I’m sure the mayor would have wanted to stay probably another four years, but it just didn’t work out that way,” Williams said.

The new headquarters is next door to the Orlando Baking Company’s headquarters on an otherwise empty stretch of the newly opened road.

Officials said they expect the new police HQ to attract investment nearby when it opens.

Matthew Richmond is a reporter/producer focused on criminal justice issues at Ideastream Public Media.