COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Tuesday that a dozen local law enforcement agencies will strengthen their recruitment efforts with support from the Ohio Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment.
The Bellefontaine Police Department is among the law enforcement agencies from Clark, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Logan, Lucas, Mahoning, Medina, Montgomery, Shelby, and Summit counties that will receive grants as part of the first round of funding offered as part of the new Ohio Law Enforcement Recruitment Grant Program.
The first round of funding totals $424,871, with 13 recruitment grants going to 12 agencies.
The Bellefontaine Police Department is slated to receive grant funding totaling $18,960.31 for new law enforcement recruitment efforts, including five paid internship opportunities aimed at attracting minority and female applicants.
Other area agencies to receive funding include the Sidney Police Department, which has been awarded a grant of $36,945 to develop, implement, and maintain a new physical fitness standard for applicants to improve the recruitment and retention of female officers.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office also is slated to receive funding totaling $58,248.80 to partner with local schools to introduce a new, diverse generation of recruits to the field of law enforcement. The agency will also launch a marketing plan aimed at engaging female and minority candidates.
“Law enforcement is a distinguished and honorable profession, but agencies all over the country are facing serious shortages in new recruits, which is dangerous for the current workforce and for the citizens they serve and protect,” Gov. DeWine said
“The agencies receiving grants today have all developed plans that will help them recruit more qualified job candidates, particularly women and minorities who oftentimes face barriers to employment in criminal justice careers.”
Gov. DeWine prioritized the creation of the Ohio Law Enforcement Recruitment Grant Program in the state’s 2022-2023 operating budget, which was passed by the Ohio General Assembly last year.
Administered by the Ohio Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment, the grant program totals $1 million over the biennium, with the remaining funds to be offered in fiscal year 2023. Additional law enforcement recruitment funding will also be offered as part of the $250 million that Governor DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly dedicated to law enforcement in December.