Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced recently that the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) will enhance its aviation technology to offer improved air support to local law enforcement agencies across the state.

Approximately $6 million in funding will be awarded to the OSHP as part of the Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program. Governor DeWine, in partnership with the Ohio General Assembly, created the grant program in 2021 to give local law enforcement additional tools to address violence and fight crime.

The funding will specifically go toward improving OSHP's live-streaming aviation technology. OSHP's current video streaming capabilities are generally limited to the regions of Columbus and Akron. In other parts of the state, pilots must describe via radio what they're seeing from the air to those on the ground.

"During dangerous and evolving situations, our OSHP flight crews have a birds-eye view of the scene below, but it's just as important for on-site incident commanders to have this perspective as well," said Governor DeWine. "By extending this live-streaming technology across more parts of the state, OSHP will better support local law enforcement during emergencies by offering them the opportunity to see the same real-time aerial views that our flight teams are seeing from the air."

The new equipment would tie into new and existing Multi-Agency Radio Communication System (MARCS) towers to establish communication between the flight crew and the ground.

To date, Governor DeWine has awarded over $86 million to 171 Ohio law enforcement agencies as part of Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program, which is administered by the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services within the Ohio Department of Public Safety. The grant announced now is funded through both the state operating budget and with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that Governor DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly have dedicated to first responders to counter various pressing issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including violent crime.

Other assistance for first responders developed by the DeWine-Husted Administration includes the creation of the Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center, Ohio School Safety Center, Ohio Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment, Ohio Office of First Responder Wellness, Ohio Prisoner Extradition Reimbursement Program, Ohio Body-Worn Camera Program, Ohio Ballistics Testing Initiative, Ohio Crime Lab Efficiency Program, Ohio First Responder Recruitment, Retention, and Resilience Program, Ohio Court Backlog Reduction Program, Community Violence Prevention Grant Program, and the new eWarrant database.

About the Ohio State Highway Patrol

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is an internationally accredited agency whose mission is to provide unbiased, professional public safety services through inclusion, collaboration, and innovation. The Patrol provides:

Statewide traffic services to keep our roadways safe,

Statewide emergency response services and support services to the public and the criminal justice community,

Investigation of criminal activities on state-owned and leased property throughout Ohio, and

Security for the Governor and other dignitaries

The Patrol is a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, which is administrated by a director who holds a cabinet-level position in state government. The commander of the Patrol holds the rank of Colonel and is referred to as the Superintendent. The superintendent is selected from the Patrol ranks upon the retirement or death of a predecessor.