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COLUMBUS – Ohio law enforcement agencies seeking to improve their recruitment, selection, and retention of women and minority officers can apply for a 2021 Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment (LER) Fund grant starting today.

As a budget priority of Gov. Mike DeWine, the goal of the funding is to encourage agencies to collaborate with their communities, create programming, or improve other internal processes that will help develop a diverse network of qualified applicants, including minorities and women.

“Attracting and retaining highly qualified women and minority officers is critical to the future of policing in Ohio,” Gov. DeWine said. “The grant opportunity announced today is another step forward in that direction.”

Each applicant will need to demonstrate how it will increase engagement, recruitment, selection, and retention of qualified women and minority officers. Funds may also support research projects that evaluate current programming, recruitment, selection, and/or retention processes in Ohio.

“The Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment provides innovative ideas and methods to help agencies hire and retain qualified law enforcement officers,” said LER Administrator Sarah Shendy. “We hope agencies can get closer to their recruitment and hiring goals with these grants.”

The grant can cover the cost for a wide variety of projects including marketing, developing and maintaining social media platforms, community outreach programs, and research projects. With a multifaceted approach, LER hopes to accomplish its goal of providing the best possible service to the communities within and around their jurisdictions.

The application period will close Sept. 3 at 5 p.m. Information on how to apply can be found at ocjs.ohio.gov. Projects may apply for up to 12 months operating from Jan. 1, 2022 to Dec. 31, 2022.

A voluntary bidders training webinar will take place Aug. 5 at 10 a.m. The training will provide helpful information for both the application preparation and review process. Applicants can register for the training here.

Housed within the Office of Criminal Justice Services, the Ohio Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment was created by Gov. DeWine to develop and share the best practices on the hiring of candidates who are best suited for the law enforcement profession.

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