Springfield receives over $300K state crime reduction grant to buy new surveillance cameras

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield police will receive over $300,000 to purchase multiple cameras to be placed across the city as part of a multi-million dollar state grant aimed at reducing violent crime.

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was in Springfield Monday to announce the third round of grants going to law enforcement agencies in the state. The third round of grants totals $3.9 million and is part of the larger series of grants that is around $58 million, DeWine said during a news conference.

“Relies on our basic philosophy that local law enforcement, should be making the decisions for their communities about specifically how this money gets spent. This is part of our overall effort to deal with the violent crime problem that we have seen,” DeWine said.

“Every weekend in cities across this state, we’re seeing young people who are getting shot Springfield is not immune to it. We’re seeing a significant amount of shootings, significant amount of crime,” DeWine said.

In the first five months of the year, Springfield police have responded to over 500 incidents involving either shots being fired or weapons complaints, according to DeWine.

“That is a very, very, scary thing,” DeWine said.

The over $305,000 grant Springfield police will receive will go to purchasing 40 surveillance cameras that will be placed strategically across the city in an effort to help police capture footage of crimes, or the aftermath.

“Even when a camera doesn’t capture the crime itself...it can show us who is leaving the area, lock in a time, which can be critical to investigators, it can capture invaluable audio, etc.,” Springfield Police Chief Lee Graf said.

Graf showed footage captured by a camera of a shooting May 10 on Euclid Avenue where there was a barrage of gunfire by multiple shooters. Graf added the footage was “a microcosm” of what police are seeing in Springfield and across the state when it comes to gun violence.

The locations and implementation of the surveillance cameras was not released. Graf said the department will use “best practices” on determine where the cameras will go.

Graf later declined to release additional details into the investigation into a mass shooting May 1 on Clifton Avenue that killed De’Arion Welliford, 23, of Springfield, and injured four other people. Graf did however acknowledge the department was still investigating.

Springfield and Coldwater were the only two local communities included in the 16 grant announcements Monday. Coldwater police will receive over $16,000 to help pay for bonuses and other staff retention programs, according to the governor’s office.

We’ll continue to update this story as we learn more.