COLUMBUS, Ohio — On Monday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced a proposal that would direct hundreds of millions of dollars in grant funding to law enforcement and other first-responder agencies to combat violent crime and support recovery efforts from COVID-19.
"There have been calls for defunding the police, which can lead officers to feel demoralized," DeWine said during his announcement. "This is clearly not the time to defund the police. This is the time to fund the police."
The $250 million proposal, which must be approved by the Ohio General Assembly, would have $75 million allocated for officer wellness and training purposes and another $175 million available for recruitment and violent crime reduction efforts. The money would come from American Rescue Plan Act funds and be awarded through grant programs operated by the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency.
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"Since taking office in 2019, we've made significant investments in new tools and technology for law enforcement, and this is a tremendous opportunity to do even more," DeWine added. "Our proposal would direct hundreds of millions of dollars into innovative initiatives that will protect our citizens and support our first responders who put their own lives on the line to help others."
Some of the specific areas where DeWine said money could be spent include:
- Helping local and state crime labs speed up the processing of evidence.
- Assisting Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost with gunshot detection technology.
- Counseling, wellness, and suicide prevention for first responders who are seeing what he called "unimaginable trauma."
- Basic training tuition assistance, plus explorer programs to engage high school and college students interested in first responder careers.
- Community-police relations efforts to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the public.
Gov. DeWine was joined by the following people during Monday’s press conference, held at the Ohio Statehouse:
Lt. Governor Jon Husted
Sen. Teresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green)
Sen. Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville)
Rep. Al Cutrona (R-Canfield)
Rep. D.J. Swearingen (R-Huron)
Hardin County Sheriff Keith Everhart, outgoing BSSA president
Lorain County Sheriff Phil Stammitti, incoming BSSA president
Findlay Mayor Christina Muryn
You can watch Gov. DeWine's announcement below:
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