COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Governor Mike DeWine says additional funding is now available to help law enforcement agencies return wanted, violent offenders to Ohio.

DeWine made the announcement in a statement Wednesday.

An additional $200,000 is now available as part of the Ohio Prisoner Extradition Reimbursement Program, according to the statement. The program reimburses out-of-state agencies for the cost of extraditing suspects wanted on Tier 1 offenses that include murder, rape, and other serious felonies.

The program was developed after a study found that some law enforcement agencies did not enter all felony warrants into databases due to lack of resources. Since its launch in 2020, the Ohio program has helped return 70 offenders to answer for charges, according to the governor.

“Not only is this important for public safety, but it’s a matter of officer safety as well,” Governor DeWine said. “When warrants aren’t entered into the appropriate law enforcement databases, officers don’t know who they’re dealing with when they conduct a traffic stop or answer a call.” 

The grant program is funded by the state’s 2022-2023 operating budget passed by the Ohio General Assembly in June.