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DeWine puts major focus on tools for law enforcement in public safety budget

Gov. DeWine announced $10 million will go to providing body cameras for local law enforcement and $1 million will go toward recruitment and retention.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Governor Mike DeWine went over several plans for the state’s budget for public safety to keep families safe and “equip local law enforcement with the right tools to keep communities safe.” 

Among several plans to protect the state’s residents, the governor announced local law enforcement across the state would receive a total of $10 million for body cameras and $1 million for recruitment and retention for local law enforcement.

“Every police officer in the state of Ohio should have body cameras,” said Gov. DeWine.  

“They encourage transparency and can help ensure accountability. We not only want them to have body cameras, we want them to follow the state-accepted protocol.”

As of February, only 183 of the state’s about 900 law enforcement agencies both have body cameras for officers and are following the standards set by the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board, DeWine said.

When asked if local law enforcement officials who receive the money for body cameras would be required to follow the state standards for their use, the governor said that has not been specified.  

However, he also mentioned there is protocol that includes “when you turn a body camera on.” 

Violent crime prevention is a major part of the public safety budget too.  

Gov. DeWine said the state is working on initiatives to get guns out of the hands of criminals, noting that a lot of violent crime involves stolen weapons.  

He also pointed out the state is “trying to control criminals,” not guns.  

The state is also working to provide grants to prevent violent crime. Gov. DeWine said that money could go to things like community initiatives and even technology to detect gunshots.  

Through his remarks, Gov. DeWine also stated the state is working on the Expedited Pardoning Project for sealing records of people who have been convicted of crimes in the past but have become upstanding citizens and helping schools with student safety (including a statewide tipline). 

Almost $5 million of the budget will be allocated for those educational spaces.

The budget bills are expected to be introduced within the next 10 to 14 days.

The press briefing on Wednesday can be watched below.