(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced today that 33 Ohio colleges and universities will receive a total of $5 million in funding for safety projects that improve the safety of students and employees.
“These funds will directly contribute to making our colleges safer,” said Governor DeWine. “The importance of campus safety cannot be overstated and Ohio is committed to supporting efforts to keep our colleges and universities safe.”
The grants are part of the 2022 Campus Safety Grant Program, which was funded with support from the Ohio Legislature in Senate Bill 310 of the 133rd General Assembly. That Ohio School Safety Centerwhich is a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, reviewed campus safety permit applications in consultation with Ohio Department of Higher Education.
The funds will be used to cover expenses associated with physical security improvements such as security cameras, door locks, alarms, public address systems and metal detectors.
“Part of preparing students for future success is making sure they feel safe on their campus,” said Randy Gardner, Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Education. “Through these grants, the DeWine-Husted Administration remains focused on helping our colleges and universities create the safest learning environments possible.”
To be eligible for grants, colleges and universities conducted a security and vulnerability assessment to identify areas where security improvements are needed.
Since its inception in 2021 a total of about 10 million US dollars in funding was awarded through the Ohio School Safety Center’s Campus Safety Grant Program.
Governor DeWine created the Ohio School Safety Center in 2019 to help local schools, colleges and universities, and law enforcement prevent, prepare for, and respond to threats and acts of violence, including self-harm, through a holistic, solutions-based approach to improving school safety.
Governor DeWine has also worked to protect students and staff through additional strategies to reduce violent crime and improved mental health services, including:
Improving school safety
- Governor DeWine worked with the Ohio General Assembly to create the Ohio K-12 School Safety Grant Program for public schools and Ohio Safety and Security Grant Program for chartered non-public schools, licensed preschools, non-profit organizations and religious institutions.
- Governor DeWine founded the Ohio School Safety Working Group, which is made up of experts in public safety, education, mental health, emergency management, and others. The group meets quarterly to discuss school safety issues, trends and local needs.
Promoting student well-being
- Governor DeWine established the Student Wellness and Success Fund, a $1.2 billion investment now part of the school funding formula to provide comprehensive services to students. Comprehensive services are programming and support aimed at building skills and meeting a student or family need. To date, this funding has launched 1,300 mental health programs and trained 6,500 educators and school staff.
- After hearing about the need for more accessible mental health services for students on college campuses, Governor DeWine led the nation with a $13.5 million investment to expand mental health services for college students.
Empowering Mental Health Workforce in Ohio
- As part of his Wellness Workforce InitiativeGov. DeWine announced a plan, with General Assembly help, to invest $85 million to expand Ohio’s behavioral health staff to meet needs.
Reducing violent crime
- Governor DeWine worked with the Ohio General Assembly to invest $250 million to law enforcement and first responders in Ohio.
- Governor DeWine created the Ohio Ballistics Testing Initiative To double the number of National Integrated Ballistic Information Network units in Ohio to help law enforcement identify criminals responsible for fatal shootings and other gun violence incidents in Ohio.
- Governor DeWine created the Ohio Crime Lab Efficiency Program to eliminate backlogs in criminal evidence testing at Ohio’s certified crime labs statewide with the goal of expediting the return of evidence testing results to law enforcement agencies.
- Governor DeWine created the Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program Providing funding to local law enforcement agencies to help them implement new strategies to reduce violent crime in their communities.
- Gov. DeWine directed the Ohio State Highway Patrol to assist local law enforcement with “shock operations” aimed at stopping gun violence and repossessing stolen or illegally owned guns.
- Governor DeWine created the eWarrant system, a statewide criminal justice database to improve the accuracy of state and federal background checks and streamline the process of filing warrants and protective orders in Ohio.