Summit County Sheriff’s Office gets state grant to help with hiring

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office, which currently has more than 30 open deputy positions, is receiving a $2.9 million state grant to help with hiring and retention.

Summit County Sheriff’s Office is receiving $2,918,249.69 of a total of $8.2 million going to 13 law enforcement agencies through the State’s Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program ‘Ohio. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office receives most of the money from the 13 agencies.

The state said the grant is intended to help pay retention or hiring bonuses to help maintain current staffing levels, recruit new officers, and continue ongoing public safety services to prevent and investigate violent crimes.

“We are thrilled to receive such a large amount,” Summit County Sheriff Kandy Fatheree said in a statement. “With these funds, we can continue our investment in the community – reducing violent crime and training the next generation of MPs.”

According to the state, the money will help fill 10 vacancies and retention bonuses for two dispatch supervisors, 17 dispatchers, 57 supervisors and 241 assistants.

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Summit County Sheriff’s Office Inspector Bill Holland said the office has been grappling with a “perfect storm” of staffing shortages, amid massive retirements in recent years of employees who have all been hired at the same time and retiring at the same time, as well as employees. leave law enforcement for other careers.

“We are going to use this (money) for recruitment to get people to come to the police academy and obviously hire them after they pass the police academy, as well as for recruitment efforts,” a- he declared. “So many departments are so understaffed, what we’re seeing are deputies and police officers bouncing around from department to department, so we’re going to use some of those funds for retention efforts.”

The $8.2 million is the eighth round of the Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program, which the Ohio General Assembly created last year. To date, $45.9 million has been paid to 132 Ohio law enforcement agencies through the program. In total, approximately $100 million will be granted to law enforcement agencies.

“When law enforcement is understaffed, they are often forced to scale back their proactive or preventative policing initiatives, which can drive up crime,” Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statement. “In an effort to support ongoing proactive initiatives centered on reducing violent crime, funding will be available for items such as recruitment efforts, retention bonuses, hiring bonuses and payroll costs.”

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Other ways the money can be used include creating, implementing or expanding violent crime reduction initiatives, such as venue network investigations, targeted deterrence, hotspot policing and firearms intelligence centers, as well as technology, equipment, training, technical assistance. , analytical/support tools and overtime costs associated with implementing crime reduction strategies.

The program is funded by both the state operating budget and the American Rescue Plan Act. The 13 most recent grants, including those from Summit County, are funded by ARPA.

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

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Other Summit County agencies that have received funding in previous cycles include:

  • Bath Police Department, $230,826, for retention bonuses to help maintain current staffing levels of nine full-time dispatchers, one part-time dispatcher, 23 full-time officers and one on-call officer. part-time.
  • Cuyahoga Falls Police Department, $40,000, to enhance ongoing recruiting efforts through a 20-week radio campaign targeting potential police candidates.
  • Silver Lake Police Department, $53,935.24, for retention bonuses for three supervisors, five full-time officers and five part-time officers.
  • Stow Police Department, $330,689.60, for retention bonuses to help maintain current staff numbers of 12 supervisors, five detectives and 25 officers.
  • Summit County District Attorney’s Office, $764,982.74, to fund two additional prosecutor positions for the office’s existing firearms unit and to provide retention and hiring bonuses.
  • Summit County Sheriff’s Office, $421,241.13, to add four deputies to the Akron Police Department’s Gun Violence Reduction Team, which targets hotspots of high crime and violence and strives to identify people committing crimes with firearms.
  • Twinsburg Police Department, $909,502.60, for hiring three officers and three dispatchers and retention bonuses for 34 officers and 10 dispatchers.

Contact Beacon Journal reporter Emily Mills at [email protected] and on Twitter @EmilyMills818.

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