SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) — It is an unprecedented move to fight drug abuse in Clark County, and it’s coming with a major hurdle.
Sheriff Gene Kelly announced today a plan to move the sheriff’s administration offices to the fourth floor of the Springview Government Center.
“We outgrew this building 25 years ago and we now have substations throughout Clark County so to move the administration offices there is good sound business, and to turn this into a drug rehab center is good for Clark County,” he tells us.
Sheriff Kelly says the fourth floor of the building is completely vacant, but is still costing the county money on utilities. He believes the move would benefit the entire sheriff’s office because of an increase in communication and efficiency.
“I have my uniformed patrol there. My school officers, DARE, concealed carry, EMA is there. It just makes sense to bring our detectives move back with our uniformed patrol to have that communication,” Sheriff Kelly said.
The plan calls for a move-out of the sheriff’s department, and a move-in of a new $1.5 million drug rehabilitation center. The rehab center will house 40 beds on the second floor of the Public Safety building in downtown Springfield.
The 40 beds would make room for males only. Females will have an opportunity to go to a rehab center for the first time in Clark County–as they would move into the facility currently being used by men.
Sheriff Kelly says the current facility houses 12 people, and there is sometimes a wait of two to three months for drug users to get into the rehabilitation center.
Commissioner John Detrick says the move is unprecedented for the county.
“This would put us in the leadership role in drug treatment. It would be a breakthrough and it would involve the re-entry and help them become more stable citizens,” he explained today.
He says the project comes with a major hurdle. One of Springfield’s commissioners may file a class-action lawsuit against the proposal.
Detrick is confident they’ll be able to push past legal issues to kick-start the project, but he’s never run into an issue like this before.
“This is the first time in 18 years I’ve seen a situation like this. It’s alright to have Democrat/Republican politics but at this level politics doesn’t matter. We need to be doing what’s right for the community,” Detrick said.
He tells us that the drug rehabilitation could go in as soon as next summer.