SYRACUSE — The Syracuse Council recently met discussing the recent happenings to the 2018 Office of Criminal Justice Services Grant (OCJS) for $11,316.47 for the Syracuse Police Department (SPD).
Grants Administrator Fred Hoffman read aloud an email he received pertaining to the grant.
“After reviewing the comments on your grant application you are not selected for funding because your crime statistic reporting is behind, is a condition of eligibility that everyone be current on crime reporting, therefore the grant was not approved for funding.”
Mayor Eric Cunningham informed council the email was sent after the village was notified of receipt of the grant in March.
Police Chief Mony Wood is in charge of the crime reporting and told council SPD utilizes the same reporting system, Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway (OHLEG), as the rest of Meigs County. For example, Wood explained Middleport Police Department uses the same reporting system and they received the grant with no problems.
Wood stated, “They’re saying we don’t have crime statistics reporting and on OHLEG there is no crime statistics reporting, all it is, is reports. Anything that we do reports on is anything criminal, tickets are not criminal, so we do not do reports on those.”
Wood shared the problem SPD faces is the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office reports a lot of the crime in the village. He said it was recommended to him to access call records from the sheriff’s office from when they reported to Syracuse village and made incident reports.
Hoffman explained he was told there were no annual reports from July of 2016 to January of 2018 and the one report received did not have an attachment with it to be sent to the Office of Criminal Justice Services.
Wood responded SPD reported a domestic case in January, but the other months, the crime was reported by the sheriff’s office.
Wood explained every month SPD must report on human trafficking, domestic violence, and the officer roster which are logged into OHLEG and are up-to-date with no problems. He said SPD cannot report if nothing is done, so he reports zeroes to OHLEG when there is no crime. Wood commented every time they do a report through OHLEG it goes to the state.
Cunningham told council when SPD has applied for the grant for years with no problem.
Wood informed the council he would be attending a meeting on Friday, April 13 to try and find out more information on why the grant was revoked, as well as planning to speak with an individual in May once she is available.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.
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