Cincinnati, OH

The Devastating Impacts of the Cincinnati Police Department’s Gun Range on the Communities Nearby

Christopher Shanks

People living nearby are concerned for their health and mental health.

Hamilton County is currently working to relocate the Cincinnati Police Department’s gun range in Evendale, however, the people living in Lincoln Heights, Woodlawn, and Evendale are still being greatly impacted by the sound of gunfire coming from the range.

The high decibel levels of the gunshots can have a profound effect on one's overall health and quality of life, which is why it's crucial to address this issue immediately.

Syretha Brown, a lifelong resident of Lincoln Heights, has noticed the impacts of the gun range on her community. She recalls a time when her son was a little boy and wouldn't go outside to play, saying that it was like a "war zone." Brown never realized the connection between her son's fear and the gunfire from the gun range until she became involved with the Heights Movement. For Brown, the sound of gunfire had become a background noise, something she was used to hearing every day.

Dr. Brian Earl, an associate professor at the University of Cincinnati, has been studying the impacts of exposure to noise for years. In 2020, he was invited by community leaders in Lincoln Heights to run tests on the noise levels in the area. To his shock, the sound of gunfire was incredibly loud, registering at 85 decibels on a sound level meter. According to Renee Mahaffery-Harris, president and CEO at the Center for Closing the Health Gap, consistent exposure to sound levels above 85 decibels over a prolonged period of time can have a significant impact on one's health.

Dr. Earl is also concerned about the long-term impacts of exposure to the sound of gunfire, as well as the potential for lead contamination in the soil. Lead-core bullets release particles into the air as they travel down the gun barrel, and Mahaffey-Harris notes that the soil at the gun range has not been tested to her knowledge.

At a recent Hamilton County Commissioner meeting, Commissioner President Alicia Reece referred to the CPD gun range as the "biggest environmental injustice in the community." The impacts of the gun range on the health and quality of life of those living in Lincoln Heights, Woodlawn, and Evendale cannot be ignored. It is imperative that action be taken to address this issue and find a solution that will benefit everyone involved.



  1. WCPO Local News:
  2. WXVU Local News:
  3. Cinncinati Municipal Website:

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