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Police wary of Akron program meant to ease overcrowding

An effort to ease jail overcrowding in northeastern Ohio's Summit County is drawing concern from

Published: March 21, 2017 4:00 AM

AKRON, Ohio (AP) -- An effort to ease jail overcrowding in one northeastern Ohio county is drawing concern from police chiefs, who are wary of not immediately jailing people charged with nonviolent, low-level felonies.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports that officials in Akron have tried a program in which some of those defendants get a summons to appear in court instead of waiting in jail for an initial appearance. A jail official says the effort noticeably reduced jail bookings.

Backers hope to expand the program in Summit County using a $50,000 MacArthur Foundation grant, but not everyone is on board.

That includes Barberton Chief Vincent Morber, who leads the Summit County Police Chiefs Association. He says low-level felony offenders are often the suspects who most need screening and assessment through the jail.

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