Grant to fight Youngstown crime could overload police force

The grant's main focus will be to reduce crime in targeted areas of Youngstown's Sixth and Seventh Wards, including Market Street and South Avenue

Shell gas station, Market Street, Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – An $850,000 grant is being handed to Youngstown’s Sixth and Seventh Wards to fight crime. However, some questions were raised about whether the police will be able to handle the extra workload the grant requires.

The money coming from the U.S. Department of Justice would be used to clean up ten square blocks and provide them with extra police patrols.

The grant’s main focus will be to reduce crime in targeted areas of the Sixth and Seventh Wards, including Market Street and South Avenue. Police will also increase patrols around Taft Elementary and Cottage Grove.

“So much of it does have an impact in my area, in my ward,” Councilwoman Anita Davis said.

Of the $850,000, $250,000 will go to the Youngstown Police Department for covering patrols. Youngstown State will get $123,000 to collect the data for crime and prevention in the Sixth and Seventh Wards.

“Generating the information so they know where to target,” Davis said.

An undefined amount of money will also be used to improve various homes and businesses in the city.

“Lighting, locks, perhaps security cameras, so folks can monitor,” Davis said.

The grant is not without its problems, though. Police Chief Robin Lees said staffing these extra patrols could be difficult.

“We will probably struggle to staff this at times, given everything that’s going on through the summer months.”

Several council members said they were concerned about using up all of the money from the grant too soon. Lees responded by saying the department rarely goes through the entire grant.


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