COLUMBUS, Ohio — Last month, Gov. Mike DeWine awarded more than $3.7 million to 21 law enforcement agencies across Ohio to help combat violence.
Among those receiving money is the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office which was awarded $338,000.
Chief Deputy Rick Minerd said some of the money will go toward paying more personnel to process a backlog on National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN).
Minerd said NIBIN is almost like a DNA database for weapons to help connect the dots in terms of whether it was used in another crime. This information could help lead them to a known suspect.
The money will also be used to buy tools for wiretaps and educational opportunities for the community.
“This new pot of money that we have been awarded, we are looking to do some hot spot policing. We are looking at connecting at-risk youth with some educational opportunities, treatment opportunities, and also those who are suffering from addiction as well,” Minerd said.
Minerd says some of the funding will be used as seed money for the Central Ohio Violence Eradication Response Team (COVERT). The group is responsible for preventing violent crimes, including murder, robbery and aggravated assault.
COVERT will also work to bring mentorship and counseling services to at-risk youth.
The money is coming from the Ohio Violent Reduction Grant Program, which was created last year to give law enforcement officials more tools to hold the small number of criminals responsible for the most violent crime in the state.
The program originally launched with $8 million from the state's operating budget, but it was increased to $58 million with additional money from the American Recovery Plan.