Lima to undergo crime-fighting initiative for repeat offenders

The Safe Neighborhoods Initiative is currently ongoing in Akron, Warren, and Steubenville, Ohio.

Lima joins three other cities in Ohio to participate in a program that aims to curb gun-related crimes in the area.

It's called Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine along with local law enforcement leaders made the announcement Tuesday.

The initiative targets the community's most violent repeat offenders, who make up a group of people committing the bulk of the crimes. Officials say offenders will receive enforcements that humanize the consequences of their actions. Offenders would see lengthier prison terms if the acts of violence continue. They would also meet with families of the victims affected by an offender's crimes.

"The goal is to help steer these violent career criminals on a path towards a more productive life, and, in the process, improve the lives of everyone living around them," Attorney General DeWine said.

The offenders would also receive job training skills as well as drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

The initiative is a model similar to a program used in Cincinnati. The Ohio Attorney General Office claims it led to a 41-percent drop in gang homicides and a 22-percent decrease in other violent firearm incidents.

"The Safe Neighborhoods Initiative is a carrot and stick approach that has proven itself effective in other communities making them safer for everyone,â?? said Lima Mayor David Berger.

The Safe Neighborhoods Initiative is currently ongoing in Akron, Warren, and Steubenville, Ohio. Crime rates in that area have not been released as data was not available.

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. The act is co-sponsored by Senator Frank LaRose (R-Copley).