City of Hamilton receives anti-gang grant

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - For the fifth year in-a-row, the City of Hamilton received the Anti-Gang Initiative Grant to help fight gang activity, however the grant dollar amount continues to decrease.

When the city received the funding five years ago, it was for $99,000 over a period of two years. The same grant received this year is for just $17,000.

"We have officers who use this grant and their specific job is to target this area for this crime, it's a wonderful thing," said Hamilton officer Ryan Beckelhymer.

Beckelhymer says the money is crucial, establishing citizen police academy courses and paying for extra patrols in areas with gang activity. But there is concern the grant may become unavailable.

"If this grant is gone, that eliminates these guys working overtime, that money would have to come out of the general fund," said Beckelhymer. "At this point that probably isn't possible."

Residents say they need the continued police presence.

"When you have to cut back on our officers, that takes one more officer off the street," said Gene Lewis a long-time Hamilton resident.

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