Friday, March 7 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-08 01:07:02 GMT
The Toledo Municipal Court will soon open a Domestic Violence Waiting Room. Those involved hope it will increase victim participation in the court process, as well as provide a safe location for them.More >>
The Toledo Municipal Court will soon open a Domestic Violence Waiting Room for victims. Those involved hope it will increase victim participation in the court process, as well as provide a safe location for them.More >>
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
Toledo Police Chief Derrick Diggs held a press conference Wednesday morning to announce that the Department of Justice awarded the department a $1.25 million Community Oriented Policing Services grant.
The grant will be used to hire 10 additional police officers and pay for 75 percent of their wages for their first three years of service.
Because of the grant, the Toledo Police Department will be able to increase its next police class from 65 to 75 cadets. The class is scheduled to start Oct. 15 and will graduate some time in April 2014.
Once the 75 new officers hit the streets, the TPD can implement its Community Corridor Initiative. The additional manpower will provide for 10 officers to be dedicated to five of Toledo's historic neighborhoods to address concerns from residents and businesses. The program will function as a complement to the Data-Driven Policing Initiative, which combines intelligence-led policing with community-policing practices, and utilizes the latest technology and problem-solving methods.
Diggs was raised in Toledo and says a big part of his job now is to listen to what the communities' safety needs are, and do all he can to help. The targeted corridors are vital gateways into both business and residential areas of Toledo, and their success is critical to the overall well-being of the city.
"I've been to numerous neighborhood meetings, and in each one of these neighborhoods that we have targeted these corridors, the citizens have asked for specific things. They want to see more officers," explained Diggs.
Areas to be targeted include:
-Lagrange Street corridor
-Cherry Street Legacy corridor
-Main Street corridor
-Sylvania Avenue corridor
Neighbors are relieved to hear more attention will be focused on problem neighborhoods.
"We need that protection or whatever. We can't do it by ourselves, you know what I'm saying? If we do do it by ourselves, we end up going to jail. So we might as well let them do it for us. If we need more help from them, we just call them," said resident Paul Bennett.
Diggs describes this new initiative a spring board and emphasizes that other neighborhoods will not be neglected. This is just a way to invite more community involvement.
The department also recently acquired more space at their facility at Owens Community College to accommodate the larger number of recruits. Diggs says to have big results and changes in safety, the department has to take on large challenges.
"It's going to be a challenge, but we're up to that challenge, because we need these officers on the street. I am fully confident in my police academy people to train these officers, and have them prepared to hit the streets in April of 2014," said Diggs.
Acceptance of this grant is still pending City Council approval.