Gov. DeWine announces criminal justice initiatives in new budget plan

Ohio

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – During a press conference Wednesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine provided an inside look into his plans for a new criminal justice and public safety initiatives through his Executive Budget.

DeWine’s office stated the goal of the initiatives are to focus on improving relations between communities and police, while also reducing gun violence and drug trafficking. Ohio school and student protection programs were also discussed.

“Our administration focus on safe guarding citizens, preventing injustice and equipping local law enforcement with right tools to keep communities safe is reflected in our most recent budget proposal,” said DeWine.

Within the “two year vision,” DeWine said RecoveryOhio Law Enforcement, Major Drug Interdiction Task Force and Extradition Reimbursement Grant Program will all continue to receive funding through these initiatives.

A $10 million grant is going towards providing body cameras for police officers who don’t have them. DeWine stated nearly two-thirds of law enforcement agencies in Ohio are without body cameras. Now, his goal is for every police officer in the state to have a body camera.

Another $1 million will also go towards getting minorities and women into law enforcement.

Schools were also a topic of discussion in DeWine’s new initiatives. The Ohio School Safety Center was created in 2019, in hopes of protecting children and teachers while in the classroom. An additional $5 million will be put into K-12 schooling to increased safety.

“Nothing is more important than protecting our children,” said DeWine.

DeWine also discussed adding $13 million to Ohio’s Narcotics Intelligence Center.

“This is the type of investigation that will play a huge roll in helping local law enforcement and prosecutors,” said DeWine.

An additional $8 million in grant money will go towards Violent Crime Reduction.

“Too many people are dying, too many children, innocent children are being killed…killed before they even have a chance to live,” said DeWine.

Lastly, the governor is putting $1 million towards expedited pardons.

“We believe that sealing the record is also very appropriate, so that they can get the benefit of receiving that pardon,” said DeWine.

At the end of his conference, DeWine stated that further information on these initiatives will be available in the coming weeks.

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