Security controversy over PAL site

City Councilman D. Michael Collins is questioning a land swap deal between the city and Toledo Public Schools.

"My issue is that of transparency and integrity," says Collins.

He is referring to the city's pending deal to acquire the site where the Police Athletic League (PAL) building sits in exchange for Optimist Park across from Waite High School, but Collins says council was not informed of a theft that occured at PAL last October.

"There was never a mention that the building has been compromised," he explains.

The safety is a concern for the city, because they plan to repair the PAL building once the deal is final.

"When we are asked to give monies to the tune of $250k, we have a right to know all of the circumstances that surround this issue," Collins says.

The controversy stems from a temporary police sky camera was at the site when the theft took place, however something went wrong, and the camera shut down.

"The failure was based upon an insufficient amount of gasoline in the tank, or reservoir to keep the generator running," Collins says that is how someone explained it to him.

The police report states the thieves made away with 11 computers, 11 monitors, calculators, and also copper wire.

Sources tell WNWO that the building itself was not compromised, however, only the portable units on the property. And the copper that was taken was from a line running outside to the generator running the AC unit to those buildings.

Police also say the camera may have been running when the crime took place, but was not in a position to record it anyway.

Collins does say he's all for the deal to benefit PAL, stating he was a part of PAL for years and even coached baseball for the organization, but he needs to know the city's investment is safe.

He thinks the land swap, and the $250k, which will completely restore the PAL building to working order, will be approved.

"I think they will have the land swap, and they will have their $250k," he says. " and then the continuation of PAL will be up to the police chief and not up to this legislative body."

He does say that the money will not come from any city funds, if he has any say, but rather the money that funds the league.

The council will vote on both the land swap, and the funding, next Tuesday.