Lake County Sheriff briefs Commissioners on COPS grant program – News-Herald


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Recognizing the township government’s financial constraints to meet the immediate need for tighter law enforcement with limited revenues, Lake County commissioners recently created a program to help fund the increased presence of sheriff’s deputies in the cantons by offering to provide a second deputy for each deputy added to current police contracts.

The local “COPS” grant program, launched in Perry Township at the end of the summer, will continue to fund the additional deputy (s) for four years in order to allow the township sufficient time to find alternative sources of funding. assume financial responsibility for additional MPs.

“Protecting our citizens is the # 1 priority of the government and I cannot be more proud of the financial support of Clerk (of Courts Faith) Andrews and the work of my fellow Commissioners, John Plecnik and Ron Young, in providing a service of professional police in Perry. Township, ”said Commissioner John Hamercheck.

On October 12, Sheriff Frank Leonbruno informed Commissioners of the new additional road patrols, expressing concern over the rise in “violence and guns transmitted across jurisdictions”.

Just last month, during traffic checks, patrols confiscated four illegally carried firearms in Perry Township.

“Watching the increase in crime in our four townships, as well as the dramatic increase in violent crime nationwide, requires proactive patrols to make the criminal community understand that lawlessness is not acceptable here.” , Leonbruno said.

According to the court registry, 925 criminal cases were filed in 2019. This figure dropped slightly in 2020, to 845.

However, Leonbruno noted that by the end of this year, a total of 1,700 criminal cases are expected to be filed.

“We see a lot of vertical prosecutors here in Lake County,” he said. “In a place like Cuyahoga County, one prosecutor is assigned to the indictment, another to the pre-trial and another to the trial itself. What ends up happening is that there is less commitment from a prosecutor and when they are so supported in cases they negotiate a plea, with lower charges and jail time. for serious offenses, creating an element that is not felt here (in Lake County).

Plecnik thinks the county grant program is what working together in local government looks like.

“This prioritizes residents of the Township of Perry with a comprehensive and effective strategy to provide police coverage in a cost-effective manner,” he said. “We support law enforcement in Lake County, and this (grant) helps them help us build safer communities.”

Young echoed his colleague’s feelings.

“This is an innovative partnership, with several government offices, which should be a model on how to proactively work together to provide essential public safety services in the short and long term,” he said. he declares.

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