Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Warren Mayor William Franklin officially announced today that the Attorney General’s Safe Neighborhoods Initiative will begin in Warren this month.
“Violent crime not only hurts the victims, but it also hurts the entire community,” said Attorney General DeWine. “By bringing the Safe Neighborhoods Initiative to Warren we will engage those believed to be committing the bulk of the violent crime and hopefully get them to put the guns away.”
“On behalf of the City of Warren, I would like to express our enthusiasm and commitment to our partnership with Attorney General DeWine’s Safe Neighborhoods Initiative Program,” said Mayor Franklin. “We value our partnership with the Attorney General’s Office and recognize the importance attached to the Safe Neighborhoods Initiative Program and its objective in keeping the citizens of Warren safe and secure.”
The initiative helps communities suffering from an onslaught of violent crime by targeting their most violent offenders, who are typically a small group of people responsible for a large amount of crime. The offenders meet with local, state, and federal law enforcement who then warn them that those who continue to commit crimes will cause a large scale law enforcement crackdown on their entire gang or group.
In addition, offenders are given access to job training, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, and other social services. They also meet with clergy, community leaders, and residents who have lost loved ones to violence.
The strategies used in the initiative have previously been utilized in many communities across the country to produce drastic reductions in gun-related crime. In Cincinnati, a similar effort led to a 41-percent drop in gang homicides and a 22-percent decrease in other violent firearm incidents.
The Warren Police Department, Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office, Trumbull County Probation Department, Ohio Adult Parole Authority, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are among several agencies assisting with the effort.
The initiative is also currently ongoing in Akron and Steubenville, Ohio.
The initiative is part of an overall effort by Attorney General DeWine to combat community gun crime involving repeat violent offenders. In April, Attorney General DeWine and State Senator Jim Hughes (R-Columbus) announced the Violent Career Criminal Act, which, if signed into law, would increase the length of prison sentences for specific repeat violent offenders.