YOUNGSTOWN, OH – During National Police Week, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) stood with Youngstown police officers to call for the full funding of a critical grant program that has provided key resources to help Mahoning Valley law enforcement keep communities safe. Although the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program has provided more than $15 million to help Ohio police departments, the Republican budget – passed in the House and Senate last week – could cut funding for Byrne JAG by $24 million.
“We need to give police departments the resources they need to rebuild trust with their communities,” Brown said. “Instead of slashing funding at time when departments are struggling, we should be investing in expanded law enforcement training and new technology like body cameras. Local municipalities and departments – like the Youngstown Police Department – use Byrne JAG grants to test new approaches to community policing efforts, and to incorporate innovative tools like body cameras. Now is not the time to cut funding that our local police departments use to serve their communities.”
Brown joined Youngstown Police Chief Robin Lees, Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene, and members of the Byrne Grant Task force who will outline the importance of this federal program and its impact on the Mahoning Valley.
The City of Youngstown received $72,063 through the Byrne JAG program last fiscal year. Since the program’s inception, they have received over $2.6 million. Ohio state and municipal governments have received 38 Byrne JAG grants totaling more than $15 million.
Last week, Brown led a group of 17 senators in writing to Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran, to request full funding for the President’s proposal for a three-year, $263 million investment in body-worn cameras, expanded law enforcement training, and additional resources for police department reform.
Brown also is an original co-sponsor of the Senate Resolution commemorating National Police Week.