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Police join firefighters in backing public safety building levy

The local firefighters’ union had voted to support the public safety building levy last week. Now the Fraternal Order of Police is doing the same.

A levy to build a public safety building in Wheeling was proposed in March.

As Election Day nears, the levy is seeing even more backing from local emergency agencies.

The local firefighters’ union had voted to support the public safety building levy last week. Now the Fraternal Order of Police is doing the same.

“This is an investment in the city, and within the residents of the city. And not just the residents, all the visitors that come to Wheeling,” said William Noice, Wheeling FOP Lodge 38 secretary.

For police officers, a newer, bigger job site would provide more room for a much-updated force.

“Our drug-testing area, sometimes that’s done in the same place that the officers are eating their lunch,” Noice said. “So, the fentanyl is an issue when you're having your lunch. Secure booking areas, interview rooms for our detectives. There's a lot of things that aren't laid out with the current building. We're just making do with that space.”

“In 2017, 11 percent of the Wheeling police calls were traffic-related, where they ended on the side of the road. The remaining percentage of that all had to come back to the building for either paperwork or arrest.”

The building, which would cost taxpayers about $105 a year, is what emergency responders are calling "a must-have" to keep the city safe and running.

“We have to believe that Wheeling will come back, starting with the infrastructure. That's what your first responders are -- they're part of the city's infrastructure,” Noice said.

Voters will vote on Nov. 6.

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