COLUMBUS, Ohio — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.
As a part of the Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program, Governor Mike DeWine has announced a new round of grants aimed at preventing gang violence and law enforcement staffing in the state.
The funding -- which marks the fourth round of grants since the program launched in 2021 -- includes $2,045,146.15 for the Stark County Sheriff's Office. According to a release, the funding will be used to create the Stark County Violent Crime Task Force, alongside the Canton, Jackson Township, Alliance, Perry Township, and Massillon police departments.
"The multi-jurisdictional unit will deploy proactive and preventative enforcement strategies targeting problem areas known for gang-related activity and other incidents of violent crime," the release reads. "Each participating agency will dedicate a full-time and part-time officer to the task force for hot-spot policing, community-oriented policing, and engagement at community events."
In addition to Stark County, the Lorain Police Department will receive $42,845.83 to launch a "directed-patrol initiative to deter gang-related crime through saturation patrols." Additionally, the department will develop a youth mentoring/gang diversion program in partnership with the local nonprofit youth mentoring organization, Lorain Men of Courage. Per the release, "the six-week mentoring program for at-risk youth will focus on diverting these youth from gang and school violence by offering mentoring and providing other supports to facilitate future success."
The full list of grants provided in this round of funding are as follows:
- Arcanum Police Department (Darke County): $20,221.76
- Beachwood Police Department (Cuyahoga County): $559,073.82
- Bucyrus Police Department (Crawford County): $445,947.10
- Chillicothe Police Department (Ross County): $1,602,588.16
- Erie County Victim Assistance Program: $466,038.11
- Hocking County Prosecutor’s Office: $414,030.63
- Jackson Township Police Department (Mahoning County): $35,846.64
- Kent Police Department (Portage County): $376,771.20
- Mechanicsburg Police Department (Champaign County): $140,527.12
- Mentor Police Department (Lake County): $186,000.00
- Miami Township Police Department (Montgomery County): $303,209.90
- Morrow County Sheriff's Office: $587,141.08
- New Lexington Police Department (Perry County): $76,528.32
- Niles Police Department (Trumbull County): $262,350.10
- Oregon Police Division (Lucas County): $442,373.16
- Pike County Sheriff’s Office: $412,955.99
- Piqua Police Department (Miami County): $201,502.08
- Richwood Police Department (Union County): $34,892.00
- Sandusky Police Department (Erie County): $232,380.00
- Sidney Police Department (Shelby County): $425,704.31
- Springfield Township Police Department (Hamilton County): $255,974.87
- Toronto Police Department (Jefferson County): $48,702.40
- Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office: $366,799.68
“My job as governor is to make sure that tools and resources are available at the local level to help our local law enforcement officers combat the violence they face,” DeWine said in a statement. “These grants provide a means for local law enforcement to protect their citizens from violent crime through solid staffing levels and enhanced crime-fighting initiatives."