Akron police to benefit from $70,000 in overtime grants; State funding boosts enforcement in targeted areas throughout city

October 21, 2009

Akron City Council Monday night passed two pieces of legislation which will give the Akron Police Department a $70,000 boost to pay overtime to officers conducting special patrols in targeted areas throughout the city.

The first ordinance passed allows the department to accept and implement a $59,773 2010 High Visibility Enforcement Overtime grant from the Governor’s Highway Safety Office to target speed, seat belt usage and DUIs in high fatality and serious injury crash locations throughout the city.

The funding provides about $2,000 more than the department received last year to fund similar highway safety enforcement activities, said Council Public Safety Committee Chair Jim Shealey (At Large).

“It’s a recurring grant, and each year we’ve gotten a little more money,” he said.

The other ordinance allows the department to apply for a $10,000 2010 Project Safe Neighborhoods grant from the state Office of Criminal Justice Services to target violent crime in the city’s Summit Lake area.

The one-year grant funds overtime for Akron offices to work with federal, state and local agencies to focus on reducing violent crime in neighborhoods. Summit Lake was targeted for use of these funds because it was considered a criminal activity “hot spot” by police, and also to optimize improvements planned for the neighborhood, Shealey said.

Shealey said the Safe Neighborhoods grant will be seen as a supplement to plans underway to revitalize the Summit Lake neighborhood. Council in September authorized the city to apply for $1.1 million in grants to complete the Summit Lake Eastside Recreation Area project.

Under the project, approximately 10 acres of land to the east of the lake will be dedicated to an open space park. Other neighborhood improvements will include new housing, existing housing improvements and some foreclosure prevention activity, along with enhanced educational and recreational opportunities with the nearby Summit Lake Community Center.

Neither of the police grants requires matching funds from the city.