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Attorney General DeWine announces statewide 'Safe Neighborhoods Initiative'

1:34 PM, May 9, 2013   |    comments
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AKRON -- Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says a new, holistic initiative is aimed at decreasing violent crime in Ohio by targeting Ohio's most violent offenders.

The initiative will begin in Akron and eventually spread to other crime-ridden neighborhoods within communities in the state.

The initiative is part of an overall effort Attorney General DeWine is making to combat community gun violence involving repeat offenders.

On April 29, DeWine and State Senator Jim Hughes (R-Columbus) announced the Violent Career Criminal Act, which proposes longer prison sentences for specific repeat violent offenders convicted of a crime in which a gun was used.

The legislation was drafted after a study commissioned by the Attorney General's Violent Crimes with Guns Advisory Group found that people with two or more violent felony offenses, who make up less than 1 percent of Ohio's adult population, are responsible for 57 percent of Ohio's violent felony convictions.

The same study found Summit County ranks third in the state when it comes to the number of high rate violent offenders. Cuyahoga County ranks first, Hamilton County ranks second, and Franklin County ranks fourth.

He said the federal, state and county agencies work together to collectively fight crime in Ohio as well as anywhere in the country.

They developed outstanding crime analytics, and jointly deploy high-tech crime fighting equipment. This program adds a new crime fighting tool that will significantly strengthen the efforts.

DeWine made the announcement Thursday at The House of the Lord Church in Akron, with Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, The House of the Lord Bishop Joey Johnson, Akron Police Chief James Nice, and Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh.

DeWine is committing resources to the Initiative, which include the following:

  • The Ohio Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) will assist in providing analytic data analysis and enforcement resources in firearms-related crackdowns.
  • The Ohio Attorney General's Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) will continue to offer free gang and gun-related regional training across Ohio.
  • Attorney General DeWine is putting forth $7 million to fund the Attorney General's Safe Neighborhoods Initiative across Ohio, money that comes from the National Mortgage Settlement.
  • Attorney General DeWine has used other funds from the settlement to help communities pay for demolition of blighted homes in an effort to create safer and better communities and ultimately, protect Ohio families.

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