The Ohio University Police Department is moving to The Ridges in June from its office in Scott Quad primarily to get more office space.
The department is moving to the first floor of Building 13 of The Ridges. That space was previously vacant, Steve Wood, senior associate vice president and chief facilities officer, said.
The move-in will take place over a few weeks, but the “go-live” date hasn’t been set yet, OUPD Lt. Tim Ryan said.
The renovation of buildings 13, 14 and 18 is budgeted at $15.3 million. Along with OUPD, those buildings will also house the finance and budget office, the legal department and design and construction, Wood said.
Ryan said the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t affected the move much, other than a slight delay.
Ryan doesn’t expect the department’s response time to be any longer because its officers are always on patrol and are generally dispatched from there.
OUPD’s jurisdiction also won’t change, Ryan said. OUPD has jurisdiction on all property owned by Ohio University, and since the department has a good relationship with the Athens Police Department, OUPD has jurisdiction in the city of Athens.
APD Capt. Ralph Harvey said OUPD’s move won’t affect his department very much. He said APD doesn’t frequently visit OUPD’s office, and when its officers do, they usually drive.
Harvey said OUPD rarely calls for APD’s assistance.
The buildings in The Ridges were renovated specifically for OUPD’s safety and programmatic requirements, Wood said.
Scott Quad was designed to be a residence hall, not a police department, Ryan said. The department has also run out of room to work.
A future use for Scott Quad hasn’t been identified yet, Wood said.
“We made the space work for many years, but it is not ideal for a police department,” Ryan said.
The office at The Ridges will give the department more room to work and a purpose-built facility.
People who want to report to OUPD can call to have an officer dispatched to them. They will also be able to go to The Ridges, which is accessible by foot, car and the CATS Shuttle.
Ryan said most officers are cautiously optimistic, but he is excited about the move, mostly because of the increase in space.