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Cuomo announces over $13.3 million to reduce gun violence and crime across New York

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Wed, Apr 19th 2017 09:40 am

Gun-involved violence elimination funding combats violent crime in 17 New York counties supports evidence-based work, technical assistance, training, equipment and personnel

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced more than $13.3 million in funding awarded to help law enforcement agencies effectively combat gun violence in the 17 counties participating in the state's gun involved violence elimination initiative. Now in its fourth year, GIVE provides technical assistance, training, equipment and personnel - such as prosecutors and crime analysts -to help communities reduce violent crime.

"This administration continues to work tirelessly to combat gun violence in our communities and help prevent the needless tragedy that comes with it," Cuomo said. "The GIVE initiative provides law enforcement with resources and training to bolster public safety, strengthen communities that are hardest hit by crime and create a stronger, safer New York for all."

The GIVE initiative provides funding for 20 police departments in the 17 counties reporting 83 percent of the violent crime that occurs in the state outside of New York City. The state Division of Criminal Justice Services administers the grant funding, which runs for 12 months beginning July 1, 2017, and ending June 30, 2018. These agencies and their county law enforcement partners - district attorneys' offices, probation departments and sheriffs' offices - receive funding.

A dozen counties received funding to specifically target gun violence: Albany, Erie, Monroe, Westchester, Onondaga, Suffolk, Nassau, Schenectady, Orange, Niagara, Oneida and Dutchess counties. Five other counties were awarded grants to target aggravated assaults, which drive crime in their respective communities: Ulster, Chautauqua, Rockland, Rensselaer and Broome counties.

In Western New York, funding was awarded to:

Erie County: The Buffalo Police Department and district attorney's office, sheriff's office and probation department will share $1,837,610.

Niagara County: The Niagara Falls Police Department and district attorney's office, sheriff's office and probation department will share $696,871.

In addition to funding, the GIVE initiative provides training to participating agencies so they can implement the following evidence-based strategies:

•Hot-spots policing uses data to help law enforcement focus resources in areas where crime is most likely to occur. Police use incident reports, calls for service and other information about areas of persistent criminal activity in order to target, reduce and prevent crime.

•Focused deterrence identifies chronic offenders and targets them for enhanced attention, enforcement and prosecution. Key to this approach is a partnership between law enforcement agencies, community groups and social services organizations to communicate directly with offenders and outline clear consequences for continued criminal behavior.

•Crime prevention through environmental design identifies and attempts to correct the physical attributes of community - buildings, vacant lots, lighting, traffic patterns or other environmental factors - that make certain areas conducive to criminal activity.

•Street outreach programs employ community members who attempt to interrupt cycles of violence or prevent retaliation. This strategy also employs case managers to connect individuals involved in violence with resources to help them change their behavior.

GIVE agencies also must integrate procedural justice into their gun violence reduction plan. Procedural justice is designed to enhance police-community relations by ensuring interactions between law enforcement and individuals are fair, and that those who come in contact with police believe they are being treated equitably and respectfully during those encounters.

New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Executive Deputy Commissioner Michael C. Green said, "GIVE is a partnership between DCJS and local law enforcement that encourages and supports evidence-based approaches to reducing gun violence while at the same time helping communities heal. This is a long-term strategy that is starting to show results in areas of the state that are hardest hit by violent crime. We are supporting local law enforcement as they continue to build on the knowledge and training they've received through the GIVE initiative to effectively interrupt cycles of violence that tend to perpetuate crime in their communities."

The DCJS also sponsors an annual, two-day symposium to provide participating agencies with training and practical information to help them implement these evidence-based strategies. The most recent symposium in the fall of 2016 featured 17 workshops, panel discussions and presentations on analyzing problems to reduce gun crime in New York state. The two-day forum provides training and practical information to help implement evidence-based strategies.

This year, the symposium featured 17 workshops, panel discussions and presentations on analyzing problems to reduce gun crime in New York. The event drew more than 250 police, prosecutors, probation officers and other law enforcement professionals from 72 agencies across the state. DCJS also coordinates jurisdiction-specific training and the exchange of best practices and promising strategies among all the agencies that participate in GIVE.

New York is unique among states for its work to help ensure that agencies use proven practices to reduce these deadly crimes. The state's work with the GIVE initiative has been recognized by the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Network for Safe Communities.

About the Division of Criminal Justice Services

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (www.criminaljustice.ny.gov) is a multifunction criminal justice support agency with a variety of responsibilities, including law enforcement training; collection and analysis of statewide crime data; maintenance of criminal history information and fingerprint files; administrative oversight of the states DNA databank, in partnership with the New York State Police; funding and oversight of probation and community correction programs; administration of federal and state criminal justice funds; support of criminal justice-related agencies across the state; and administration of the state's Sex Offender Registry.

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