CLEVELAND — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that another $12 million is going to local law-enforcement agencies for recruitment, retention and resilience.

What You Need To Know

  • Ohio is funding an additional $12 million to local law-enforcement agencies for recruitment, retention and resilience

  • The announcement comes just a day after a Cleveland police officer was shot while on duty

  •  Cleveland Police Department, like other agencies, continue to struggle with staffing shortages

  • The Ohio Crime Prevention Association president said community engagement is key to reducing violence

The announcement was made a day after a Cleveland police officer was shot while on duty. The officer was conscious when taken to the hospital, according to Cleveland Police Chief Wayne Drummond.

The investigation is happening as the Cleveland Police Department, like other agencies, has struggled with a staffing shortage.

Dealing with staffing shortages is not the only struggle for many law enforcement across the United States and here in Ohio.

Many police departments are also working to tackle violence against officers, with Tuesday night’s incident in Cleveland being the latest example.

“It sent chills,” said Chief Drummond to the press after finding out one of his officers had been shot. “It was a sigh of relief when we found out he was doing okay.”

Other officers, though, aren’t as lucky to make it out alive.

In fact, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, 62 officers across the U.S. were shot and killed while on duty in 2021 alone.

“We can’t help people if we are victims ourselves,” said Bruce Felton, a retired police officer and current president of the Ohio Crime Prevention Association.

Though no longer an active officer, Felton said he still works daily to protect fellow first responders.

“I think officer safety starts within the institution, how your agency views officer safety [and the] policies they write,” said Felton.

Still, tackling the staffing shortage, along with tackling crime, remains a major feat. Felton offered one solution: community engagement.

“I think that’s one of the biggest things we can do to help make ourselves safe," he said. "When people see us as a human being, I think they’re less likely to try and hurt us. Not always, but it certainly helps.”