Ohio PDs awarded $8.2M for hiring, crime prevention initiatives By:


By The Morning Journal

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ELYRIA, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Sept. 16 that 13 local law enforcement agencies, including the Elyria Police Department, will receive a total of $8.2 million to help them prevent and investigate incidents of violent crime in their communities.

The Elyria Police Department will receive $2,765,513 to hire 12 new officers to allow for more proactive policing initiatives to prevent violent crime, according to a news release.

The city is receiving the funds from the Violent Crime Reduction Act.

The new officers will focus on proactive initiatives to prevent violent crime, according to a news release from Elyria City Hall.


The funds also will be used to offer sign-on and retention bonuses and to purchase new equipment for the digital forensics and crime scene units, the release said.

“We are actively recruiting police candidates now, and this grant will be a huge help,” said Elyria police Chief William Pelko. “These officers will strengthen our manpower on the road to combat violent crime in our city.”

Mayor Frank Whitfield agrees.

“This is a huge win for the city of Elyria in our pursuit to combat and prevent violent crime,” Whitfield said. “These resources help us retain and increase our capacity both in terms of manpower, but also technology.

“This grant will go a long way in doing just that, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Whitfield and Pelko also thanked Lt. Eric Palmer and Shannon Strachan from McCaulley and Company for their efforts in securing this grant, according to the release.

Lateral and entry-level testing will begin in early January as the Elyria Police Department continues its hiring efforts.

Interested candidates should visit www.cityofelyria.org/department/police for the latest on available positions.

Funds also will be used to offer sign-on and retention bonuses, to hire a recruiting specialist and to purchase new equipment for their digital forensics unit and crime scene unit, the release said.

The grants represent the eighth round of the Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program.

To date, DeWine has awarded $45.9 million to 132 Ohio law enforcement agencies as part of this program.

A total of about $100 million will be awarded to local law enforcement agencies in total.

“By investing in our law enforcement agencies and our peace officers, we’re also investing in the safety of our citizens,” DeWine said. “The goal of this grant program is to support the around-the-clock work of local law enforcement authorities so that they can enhance their efforts to keep citizens safe.”

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

The program is funded through both the state operating budget and with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly have dedicated to first responders to counter various pressing issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including violent crime.

The grants announced today are all funded through the American Rescue Plan Act.

The program is administered by the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services within the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
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