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Akron police to receive $5 million to bolster violent crime prevention

Akron police SUV
Annie Wu
Ideastream Public Media
The nearly $5 million award to Akron Police from the state is the largest single amount given to an agency since the state began doling out pandemic relief funds to police departments last year.

Akron’s police department will receive nearly $5 million in state funding to prevent and investigate violent crime, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's office announced Friday.

The money will be used to hire 12 more officers, establish a crime center, buy dash cams and pay overtime related to Akron’s gun violence reduction efforts, according to a media release from the governor's office.

The award is part of the most recent round of $250 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds Ohio has doled out to local law enforcement agencies statewide since last year. The money is part of a program designed to bolster state and local first-responder agencies facing increases in violent crime and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on staffing levels, according to the state.

Akron’s nearly $5 million award is the single largest since the program was announced in 2021, program documents show.

Cleveland Heights and Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority police also received cash in this latest round of funding, more than $658,000 and $400,000 respectively, for tech upgrades and retention bonuses.

In an earlier round of funding, the Cleveland Division of Police received more than $4 million for officer retention bonuses. The Elyria Police Department received $2.7 million to hire new officers and pay bonuses, among other uses. And the Stark County Sheriffs Office got about $2 million to partner with the Canton, Jackson Township, Alliance, Perry Township and Massillon police departments to create the new Stark County Violent Crime Task Force.

Stephanie is the deputy editor of news at Ideastream Public Media.