CORTLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Governor Mike DeWine paid a visit to the Farmer’s Bank in Cortland to enact his Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program yesterday.

Cortland, Boardman, Warren Police, State Representative Mike Loychik and the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force were at the event.

To date, Governor Dewine’s program has awarded $37.2 million in funding to 119 law enforcement agencies across Ohio.

Including $3.1 million to 12 agencies in the Mahoning Valley counties of Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana.

Cortland Police Department says they were very close to having to cut involvement with human trafficking task forces due to funding issues.

“This funding will allow us to keep that officer working with the task force matter of fact we will be able to keep our investigative efforts from going from two days a week to five days a week,” said Cortland Police chief David Morris.

This grant will cover the salary of the officer assigned to the task force.

The grant program is funded through both the state operating budget and American Rescue Plan Act.

“This grant is critical because one way we combat human trafficking is thru human trafficking task forces,” said Maria Busch, the state’s Anti Human Trafficking Coordinator.

“You hear the definition of human trafficking and until we had an officer assigned to it I never realized how close to home this evil really is,” chief Morris said.

“Many of them do not have the resources that they need, so we need to help them but we also don’t want to tell them what to do, so we have supplied this money and they write their own grant and determine how they want to spend it,” Governor DeWine said.

Warren, Cortland and Boardman received a combined total of around $960,00 in grant money.