'Overpolicing' concerns residents near proposed joint police station

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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A sense of distrust between police and residents living near the University of Toledo.

UT's police department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol plan to run operations out of one building at the corner of Dorr and Secor.

Residents questioned why another police force is coming to their neighborhood.

UT says it's current building on campus has a leaky roof and is too expensive to repair, especially given that the University's Master Plan calls for the old building to be torn down.

Chief Jeff Newton of the University of Toledo's police department says, "how much do you invest into the structure when you want to be somewhere else?"

The Highway Patrol's Airport Highway building is too old. So moving in with UT's officer's works for them.

Captain John Altman says that cost efficiency would also help make the Dorr Street corridor safer.

But at a public hearing Monday night, local residents considered another police agency on their block as overpolicing.

With UT, Toledo City Police, and the Lucas County Sheriff's Office already patrolling the city, news of a new OHP post in their neighborhood doesn't sit well.

Clyde Phillips says, "What's happening is we getting pulled over more often, creating more financial burden on us and for no particular reason."

A number of people talked about excessive arrests and increased traffic stops.

Those concern Theresa Lewis-Cleveland, as well. But she says UT is also encroaching on her neighborhood.

Lewis-Cleveland says, "We don't have a neighborhood anymore. We have businesses and restaurants and all these things and they promised me they wouldn't be coming but they came."

As for OHP, the local captain says this is just a building move not a new strategy to target minorities.

Captain Altman says, "We're here, it's about quality of life, it's about reducing traffic fatalities, it's about removing that criminal element."

So the two police agencies say this is just a way to cost-effectively share an updated building.

UT likes the idea because their new building would be close to student dorms.

But residents don't like it because it's close to their neighborhoods.

State Rep. Michael Ashford says money has been allocated for this project.