Three-area communities to receive state funding to assist law enforcement

COLUMBUS — Governor Mike DeWine announced Friday that several local and state law enforcement agencies will received a total of $5.7 million in grant funding to help with violent crime, including three-area communities, according to a media release.

The three-area agencies are Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, Bellefontaine Police Department, and Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

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“Law enforcement agencies have created innovative and strategic initiatives to prevent and disrupt crime across the state,” Governor DeWine said.

The Mercer County Sheriff’s Office will receive at least $110,000 to purchase advance technology that will allow them to access and extract digital evidence from cellular devices and other electronic equipment, the release said.

“Each agency’s needs may be slightly different, but they share a common goal of creating safer communities,” DeWine said.

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The Bellefontaine Police Department and Clark County Sheriff’s office received grants to pay for retention bonuses to help maintain current law enforcement staffing levels, recruit new officers, and continue ongoing public safety services to prevent and investigate crime, according to the release.

Clark County Sheriff’s office received over $639,000 in grant money while Bellefontaine Police got at least $78,000 in grant funding.

This is part of the Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program created last year by Governor DeWine, with partnership of the Ohio General Assembly, to give local law enforcement additional tools to address violence, including increases in crime associated with law enforcement retirements and resignations, according to the release.