Ohio law enforcement agencies receive grants to prevent, investigate violent crime

Elyria plans to use their cut of nearly $3-Million to hire 12 officers, offer signing bonuses and incentives to stay for current officers
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 3:10 PM EDT

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Governor Mike DeWine announced 13 Ohio law enforcement agencies will receive a total of $8.2 million to help prevent and investigate incidents of violent crime in their communities.

These grants represent the eighth round of the Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program, according to a release from the Governor’s office, bringing the total awarded amount to $45.9 million to 132 law enforcement agencies.

A total of approximately $100 million will be awarded in total throughout the program.

“By investing in our law enforcement agencies and our peace officers, we’re also investing in the safety of our citizens,” said Governor DeWine. “The goal of this grant program is to support the around-the-clock work of local law enforcement authorities so that they can enhance their efforts to keep citizens safe.”

Ohio agencies receiving grants to improve violent crime reduction strategies include:

  • Canton Police Department - $74,760
    • For technology to help identify emerging hotspots, gather intelligence, deploy resources and support crime prevention efforts. Funding will also be used to provide training on problem-oriented policing strategies to help officers build community trust.
  • Elyria Police Department - $2,765,513.43
    • To hire 12 new officers to allow for more proactive policing initiatives to prevent violent crime. Funds will also be used to offer sign-on and retention bonuses, to hire a recruiting specialist, and to purchase new equipment for their digital forensics unit and crime scene unit.
  • Jackson County Sheriff’s Office - $191,862.72
    • To pay for retention bonuses for both deputies and dispatchers. Funds will also be used for new technology to enhance intelligence gathering efforts and to support Operation Clean Up, which focuses on targeted enforcement of violent crime.
  • Lakewood Police Department - $217,752.26
    • For new technology to help reduce criminal activity and violent crime. Funds will also be used to increase patrols and decrease gun violence at Madison Park, which has seen a recent spike in violent crime.
  • Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office - $254,123.07
    • To create the Ottawa County Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Response Team. Members of the new unit will meet with victims and provide in-person support to ensure access to necessary medical care, emergency housing, counseling services, etc.
  • Riverside Police Department - $80,250
    • For new technology to support work to prevent incidents of gun violence and identify those responsible for violent crimes.

In addition, the following departments will receive grants for retention and/or hiring bonuses to help maintain current law enforcement staffing levels, recruit new officers and continue ongoing public safety services to prevent and investigate violent crime.

  • Fostoria Police Department - $124,311
  • Hamersville Police Department - $163,967.22
  • Hamilton Police Department - $967,319.76
  • New Matamoras Police Department - $4,200
  • Pierce Township Police Department - $226,931.08
  • Summit County Sheriff’s Office - $2,918,249.69
  • Xavier University Police Department - $174,390

The program is funded through both the state operating budget and with American Rescue Plan Act funds, according to the release.

Governor DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly have dedicated these funds to first responders to “counter various pressing issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including violent crime.”

Elyria police, one of the many departments receiving funding, had this to say about the program:

“We are actively recruiting police candidates now, and this grant will be a huge help” said Police Chief William Pelko. “These officers will strengthen our manpower on the road to combat violent crime in our city.”

Elyria Mayor Frank Whitfield agreed, adding that “this is a huge win for the city of Elyria in our pursuit to combat and prevent violent crime. These resources help us retain and increase our capacity both in terms of manpower but also technology. This grant will go a long way in doing just that, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.”

The grants above are all funded through ARPA.