TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The University of Toledo has been selected to join a new national research network that will study trends in low-level crimes in order to enhance public safety, increase public trust in police and save tax dollars.
The Research Network on Misdemeanor Justice is run by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which began focusing on misdemeanors in New York City years ago, and is now expanding its research to six other cities, including Toledo.
UT received a three-year $169,000 grant to analyze local data and work with other research institutions throughout the country.
Other cities involved in the research network include Los Angeles, Seattle, St. Louis, Durham, N.C., and Prince Georges County in Maryland.
Misdemeanors accounted for around 90 percent of total arrests by Toledo officers in 2015, according to the press release. That year, there were 22,463 misdemeanor arrests and 2,296 felony arrests.
The city of Toledo was chosen out of 39 others that applied. The school says that is in part to the ongoing work between university researchers and local law enforcement.
The research will take a look at the number of people fined, jailed or punished for lower-level crimes, as well as the type of crime, and find out where the trends are.
As a result, there is hope that the research network could help to improve the local justice system policies and reduce the jail population.