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Republican governor announces money for grant program from federal package opposed by GOP

Karen Kasler
Gov. Mike DeWine (left) talks with Whitehall Police Chief Mike Crispen and Whitehall Mayor Kim Maggard after the event announcing the ARPA funds going to the Violent Crime Reduction Grant program.

The state of Ohio is putting $42 million in additional funds toward local efforts to reduce crime in a program started last year.

The money comes from a federal package that all Republicans opposed in Congress, but many up for re-election this year are campaigning on the plan.

The money increases the Violent Crime Reduction Grant program, which was set up last year, to a total of $100 million. And it comes from the American Rescue Plan Act, which all 12 Republican Ohio congressmen voted against, along with every other Republican in Congress.

But Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, said with crime rates spiking after COVID-19, the money is needed.

“If they’re ARPA dollars, which these particular dollars were, then we have to qualify the dollars based on what the federal government is telling us. And that means there has to be some nexus to the pandemic in this case," DeWine said.

The money can be used for law enforcement recruitment and retention, hiring bonuses, overtime, technology and equipment.

In Whitehall near Columbus, where the announcement was made, $630,000 will go to replacing aging technology in the police dispatch center.