Police Union Raises Concerns About Mold Following Headquarters Flood

Published: .
Updated: .

The Fraternal Order of Police union president met with top police brass on Tuesday to make sure the city is doing everything possible to make sure flooding inside headquarters isn't creating a health threat.

Detectives assigned to the 6th and 7th floors have complained to both the FOP and 10TV about a pungent odor and coughing.  FOP president, Jason Pappas, visited those floors today and says
he's advising officers to take the threat of mold exposure seriously.

But, he also says it appears the city has the situation under control.

10TV obtained images of the damage on the upper floors of CPD headquarters after water pipes burst last Wednesday, flooding the chief's office and the robbery and homicide bureaus.  

The rush of water destroyed ceiling tiles, soaked carpet, and damaged computers.

10TV gained access to the building two days later as crews began to gut and rebuild the 6th and 7th floors.  The president of the FOP calls it a total demolition project.

“All the ceiling tiles removed the drywall is removed a couple feet up the wall all around the building,” said Pappas.

Pappas says the city is conducting frequent air quality tests and says top police brass has sent an email to officers about exposure to mold and how to treat it.  

The FOP is telling officers who are experiencing a cough or difficulty breathing to document the exposure and stay out of headquarters.  Police officials say immediately after the flooding, some four dozen employees had to be relocated either elsewhere in headquarters or out to the academy in West Columbus.

It's not clear when investigators will be allowed to return to their offices, but officials say it could take weeks, if not longer.  

As for the issue of cost, the city has secured a "Mayor's Emergency Letter" which authorizes contracts of up to $750,000 for these repairs.  

City officials tell us they have not yet determined whether that amount will cover these damages.