Northeast Ohio agencies embracing their portion of $2 million grant to fight war on drugs

Updated: Feb. 4, 2020 at 6:44 PM EST
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BEDFORD, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the recipients of $2 million in grant money to combat the growing drug problem throughout the state.

Among the 27 agencies splitting the money, several are located in Northeast Ohio.

The Southeast Area Law Enforcement (SEALE) Task Force, which serves Bedford, Bedford Heights, Garfield Heights, Maple Heights, Solon, Oakwood and Walton Hills, is receiving $90,000.

“We could use every little bit of help there is to assist with these investigations,” said Bedford Police detective Ben Lang, a member of SEALE.

He told 19 News the money will be valuable in purchasing equipment and providing more training for officers.

“Our guys are amazing,” Lang noted, referring to their investigative work “here in the SEALE communities as well as parts of Cleveland that their investigations take them into.”

The grant money, which was set aside in the state budget, is specifically for task forces, so singular agencies like the Cleveland Police Department did not apply.

Among Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Summit, and Trumbull counties, Northeast Ohio agencies will receive more than $500,000 as part of the governor’s initiative.

“Ohio’s task force officers work day and night to identify and arrest the drug traffickers who are fueling addiction. These grants will help local authorities continue this important work, as well as expand law enforcement’s role in preventing substance abuse through prevention, education, and proactive outreach,” DeWine said.

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