BEACHWOOD, Ohio (WJW) – Tens of thousands of people walk through Beachwood Place each year and now they will be joined by two full-time Beachwood police officers.

“One of my initiatives when I first came here in September 2021 was the safety of the mall,” said Beachwood Police Chief Katie McLaughlin.

The chief said thanks to a $559,073 state grant, she will be able to hire two full-time officers for a period of two years. This will allow her to assign two officers on a full-time basis exclusively at Beachwood Place.

“I want this to not only enhance visibility but enhance community relations as well and to act as deterrent for people who are coming to the mall for a purpose that is not dining or shopping,” the chief said.

The I-Team found that since January, Beachwood officers responded to 378 calls at the mall for various reasons, not all criminal. Some of the calls were squad calls, people locked out of their vehicles or parking violations.

The chief is also seeking permission from city council to use money from the department’s law enforcement trust fund to lease property for a police substation for two years at the mall. 

“The two officers assigned to the mall will work out of this location,” the chief said.

Beachwood Mayor Justin Berns is pleased with the program.

“Early in my campaign, I discussed seeking funding opportunities from outside sources to assist with city operations and about the importance of Beachwood Place as an asset to the City of Beachwood,” Berns stated. “I appreciate our police department’s diligence in applying for and obtaining the funding necessary to provide a permanent police presence at Beachwood Place.”

Beachwood Officer Jamey Appell was responsible for handling the fund’s grant application. He was assisted by other members of the police department’s administrative team, the chief said.

The chief is hoping to have the substation up and running by fall.