COLUMBUS – State Rep. Haraz N. Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg) announces that funding for campus safety grants was recently approved for several colleges throughout the state, including for Bowling Green State University (BGSU) and Owens Community College (OCC) within Wood County. The program funding was approved by legislation during the previous General Assembly.
“The Campus Safety Grant Program to enhance school security throughout our higher education institutions was initiated through legislation last year,” said Ghanbari. “I was a proud cosponsor of this bill and I have always been a supporter of improving law enforcement capabilities so that they can efficiently respond to necessary emergencies when needed. I hope this initiative will help provide students and faculty with a more safe and secure environment on our campuses.”
Last year during the 133rd General Assembly, Ghanbari cosponsored and supported Senate Bill 310 that had funding for the Campus Safety Grant Program and the release of funding was recently approved for 27 higher education institutions by the Ohio State Controlling Board. For Wood County, this included the following allocations:
- Bowling Green State University – $102,964
- Owens Community College – $102,800
Schools had to conduct a security and vulnerability assessment to identify potential areas for improvement in order to be eligible for the grant. Eligible expenses include but are not limited to improved lighting in parking lots, security cameras at building entrances, and secure doors.
Additionally, Ghanbari has also supported several other safety initiatives recently through the state’s two-year budget bill signed into law earlier this year. Some of those security measures included the following:
- Security Grants – $8.5 million for grants to non-profit groups, churches, chartered non- public schools and licensed preschools to improve security.
- School Safety Grants – $24 million for safety grants for schools, educational service centers, local law enforcement agencies, and schools operated by county boards of developmental disabilities.
- Crime Reduction Grants – Provides $4 million for grants to local law enforcement agencies for crime reduction initiatives.
- Body Cameras – $10 million for grants to state and local law enforcement agencies to implement or enhance body-worn camera programs.
Through the body cameras measure approved by the General Assembly Budget, the Office of Criminal Justice Services has recently announced the Ohio Body-Worn Camera Grant Program is accepting applications from law enforcement agencies. The grant will assist with body-worn camera technology for officers and the law enforcement agencies.
“We have seen the use of body cameras more and more throughout the state, however, the technology remains quite costly. This program will assist with the expensive costs of this technology while ensuring further protections for both our officers and Ohioans,” Ghanbari added.
Ghanbari encourages local city and college law enforcement agencies to apply for the program at www.ocjsgrants.com.