Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that law enforcement agencies in 17 counties will receive a total of more than $13.2 million to reduce shootings and firearm-related homicides. The funding is allocated through the State's Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) initiative, which is designed to aid local law enforcement agencies located in communities that experience high rates of violent crime.
"The state is working to reduce gun violence and make New York's communities safer for all," Governor Cuomo said. "Through the GIVE initiative, we are partnering with local law enforcement agencies to address the causes of violent crime, reduce shootings, and bring offenders to justice. This funding will help ensure safer communities for millions of New Yorkers, and I am proud to be supporting the men and women who work to keep our streets safe."
GIVE builds upon Operation IMPACT, which was launched a decade ago to provide law enforcement agencies in 17 counties Upstate and on Long Island with additional resources to fight violent crime. Like Operation IMPACT, GIVE focuses on communities served by 20 law enforcement agencies that collectively report 86 percent of the violent crime in the state outside of New York City. Those law enforcement agencies are the police departments in Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Hempstead, Jamestown, Kingston, Middletown, Mount Vernon, Newburgh, Niagara Falls, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Schenectady, Spring Valley, Syracuse, Troy and Yonkers, as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties.
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Agencies are refining their crime-fighting focus under GIVE and have submitted targeted strategies in response to a request for applications issued by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). Those strategies shape how the agencies will reduce shootings and homicides by building on information sharing and partnerships developed under Operation IMPACT, expanding crime analysis and engaging communities in the fight against gun violence.
Agency also must incorporate the use of evidence-based strategies to attack gun crime, including targeting known offenders and people considered responsible for the most gun violence in a community and identifying locations that have been shown to be the most prone to gun violence.
Crime-fighting strategies vary by jurisdiction and include, but are not limited to: enhanced patrols in identified "hot spots," focused deterrence against violent gangs and groups, increased supervision of individuals on parole and probation and the deployment of street outreach workers to interrupt cycles of violence or prevent retaliation. The grants fund personnel, such as prosecutors and crime analysts, in addition to overtime, equipment, training and community outreach.
DCJS will administer the grants, evaluate the agencies' progress over the course of the funding cycle (July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015) and provide ongoing technical assistance to help ensure GIVE partner agencies are effectively implementing evidence-based strategies.