2 Butler County police departments have plans for using violent crime prevention money

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Two Butler County police departments are among 24 in Ohio receiving grants to help prevent and investigate violent crime including domestic violence, gun violence and human trafficking.

Last week Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced $11.7 million in grant money as part of the 10th round of the Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program.

“Local law enforcement agencies spend considerable time and resources to combat violent crime and make their communities safer,” said DeWine. “By funding advanced technological tools and increased staffing through this grant program, we are supporting their mission and helping the cause.”

The Hamilton Police Department will receive $259,619.60 to purchase new technology to assist in preventing and investigating violent crime, to increase patrols and investigations in hot-spot areas and to offer hiring bonuses for new officers, according to the governor’s office.

Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit said the funding will permit the department to upgrade cameras in places where crime had been heightened as well as an increase in the number of officers on the street.

“The violence we have witnessed is senseless and has no place in our community,” Bucheit said. ”We will make every effort to identify, track down, and hold accountable anyone who would terrorize and endanger our neighborhoods. These grant funds represent an opportunity for us to significantly expand our ongoing efforts in addressing gun violence. Added patrols, expanded partnerships with the community, and additional technology are the keys to our success.

Technology has played an important role in investigating and prosecuting violent crime, Bucheit said. HPD recently secured indictments for three individuals involved in June shooting in Bailey Square. Monquez Ross and Marcus Martin are charged with felonious assault for the shooting June 9 that injured two people. A third person, Tori Johnson is charged with having weapons under disability for the same incident.

“Based on important evidence and leads generated by existing cameras, we’re confident that adding cameras will help us solve and deter future crime,” the chief said .

A double-fatal shooting that injured two others, including a toddler, also in Bailey Square last month remains under investigation.

“The efforts of our frontline officers has been outstanding. Their role in actively addressing the few people and places that are responsible for the overwhelming majority of these incidents has been the most critical and important. Adding additional officers and patrols will allow us to build on those efforts,” Bucheit said .

The Oxford Police Department was awarded $218,376.33 for retention, hiring bonuses to help maintain staffing levels, recruit new officers, and continue ongoing public safety services.

Oxford Police Chief John A. Jones said the money for an additional police officer position for two years allow the department to focus on drug abuse prevention and enforcement.

“We are extremely pleased to have been awarded funding from the Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program,” Jones said. Adding the grant money also allow an officer to participate in countywide drug enforcement.

“This additional position will allow us to assign an Oxford officer to the Butler Undercover Regional Narcotics (BURN) Taskforce that is hosted by the Butler County Sheriff’s Office. Throughout the years we have had officers assigned to BURN, but have been unable to staff that position since 2020 due to COVID and staffing shortages,” Jones said. “The increase in substance abuse within our communities correlates with an increase in drug-related violent crime. Dedicating an officer to the BURN Taskforce will mean we are proactively working to prevent and reduce drug-related crime and ultimately increase the safety and quality of life in our community.”

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