OTTAWA - Mike Klear, Project Director of the Putnam County Safe Community Coalition announced the Ohio Department of Public Safety's (ODPS) Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) awarded $25,000 in federal traffic safety funding to the Putnam County Educational Service Center for federal fiscal year 2013.

"Partnerships are critical to the success of any safety effort and we are committed to working with law enforcement and other safety partners to address traffic safety concerns in Putnam County," said Mr. Klear.

The Putnam County Educational Service Center, (E.S.C.) has identified that education about traffic safety for the community regarding the importance of seat belt use, dangers of distracted driving and impaired driving will impact the safety and welfare of the citizens in Putnam County. The E.S.C. through the Safe Communities Coalition will use the grant funds to deliver information abo the many dangers of the roadways and tips to being safer while traveling roads and highways. The E.S.C. and the Safe Community Coalition is committed to the local effort of saving lives, reducing the fatalities in the community and by improving the quality of life for the citizens,

The funds are passed through OCJS from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to support the efforts of safety partners statewide and focus on traffic safety priority areas such as restraint use, impaired driving, motorcycle safety, distracted driving and youthful drivers.

Members of the Putnam County Safe Community Coalition consist of representatives from the Ohio Criminal Justice Services Agency, Lima Memorial Health System, St. Rita's Ambulatory Care Center, Life Flight Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, Putnam County Engineer's Office, Health Dept., Educational Service Center, Dept. of Public Safety, OSU Extension, ODOT and local law enforcement.

Competitive grant proposals are accepted and reviewed by OCJS. The FFY 2013 competitive grant process solicited grant proposals from state agencies, non-profit organizations, colleges, universities, hospitals, political subdivisions and other interested groups within selected Ohio counties and jurisdictions (based upon the number of fatal crashes).

For more information about the Office of Criminal Justice Services and statewide efforts to improve safety on Ohio's roadways, log on to http://www.ocjs.ohio.gov.