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Hochul announces 28% decline in shootings, awards nearly $36 million to local law enforcement


Thu, Jun 13th 2024 06:50 pm

Shooting incidents with injury declined 28% through May 2024 in communities participating in state’s ‘GIVE’ initiative

√ Record-level ‘GIVE’ funding for second consecutive year to help law enforcement agencies further reduce shootings, save lives, combat violent crime

Submitted by the Office of Gov. Kathy Hochul

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced continued progress in bringing down gun violence and awarded nearly $36 million to local law enforcement agencies to further reduce violent crime. Shooting incidents with injury declined 28% during the first five months of 2024 when compared to the same period last year, as reported by police departments participating in the state’s “Gun Involved Violence Elimination” initiative.

“Keeping New Yorkers safe is my top priority,” Hochul said. “We've brought gun violence down to historic lows – and we're giving local law enforcement agencies more of the resources needed to keep tackling crime throughout every corner of our state.”

The 28% decline reflects 218 shooting incidents with injury from Jan. 1 through May 31, 2024, compared to 303 incidents from Jan. 1 through May 31, 2023. Data for each of the 28 police departments participating in the GIVE initiative is available online. That data also shows the number of individuals shot in those incidents and the number of individuals killed by gun violence for the same period.

This marks the second consecutive year in which Hochul has secured record-level funding for the GIVE initiative, which supports 28 police departments in 21 counties with the majority of the state’s population outside of New York City. The initiative uses evidence-based strategies to reduce shootings, save lives and combat violent crime. Information on the nearly $36 million awarded today to local law enforcement agencies is available online.

In addition to the decreases in gun violence experienced in GIVE communities, the New York City Police Department reported declines in gun violence through June 9. When comparing the same timeframe in 2023, there were 41 fewer shooting victims and 39 fewer shooting incidents. New York State Police also seized 973 guns through May, and the agency is likely on pace to exceed last year’s total of 1,463. The number of guns seized during the first five months of this year is more than those seized annually in 2018 (551), 2019 (528), and 2020 (517).

Index crimes in all seven categories – four violent (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault) and three property (burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft) – also declined outside of New York City during the first quarter of 2024 when compared to the first quarter of last year. Preliminary data reported to the state by police departments and sheriffs’ offices showed a 10% reduction in total index crimes, a 6% decrease in violent crime; and an 11% decline in property crimes. Notably, these data showed a 10% decrease in larcenies and a 20% decrease in motor vehicle thefts. Reported felony crimes in New York City, meanwhile, decreased 2% through June 9.

The GIVE grant cycle runs from July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2025, and state funding supports personnel, overtime, equipment and technology. The state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) provides funding, technical assistance, and training through GIVE. This is the second year in which the initiative has supported 28 police departments, and district attorneys’ offices, probation departments, and sheriffs’ offices in 21 counties: Albany, Broome, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Dutchess, Erie, Jefferson, Monroe, Nassau, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Orange, Rensselaer, Rockland, Schenectady, Suffolk, Tompkins Ulster and Westchester. GIVE funding totals $36,199,999, with DCJS awarding $35,937,910 in grants; the remaining is available to fund emerging issues identified by participating agencies.

New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Commissioner Rossana Rosado said, “These positive trends are a testament to the collective work done by our GIVE partner agencies, SNUG Street Outreach programs, and other community-based organizations that we fund and support. This holistic approach recognizes that enforcement alone doesn’t make neighborhoods safer. We must embrace services that address the needs of individuals and families disproportionately affected by gun violence, and programs that provide them with opportunity and options, such as mentoring, healing circles and job training, among others. I thank Gov. Hochul for her unwavering support, and commend our partners for their work to make our state safer for all New Yorkers.”

New York State Police Superintendent Steven G. James said, “The vast reduction in gun violence is attestation to the progression we’ve made in combating the infiltration of illegal guns in New York. Our numbers prove the seizure of illegal guns is no small matter, and these efforts are an integral part of protecting our communities. I offer my gratitude to Gov. Hochul for the resources that are being provided to help us focus on this public safety mission.”

The FY 2025 enacted budget includes $347 million secured by Hochul to fund a comprehensive plan that addresses gun violence, reduces crime and recognizes the importance of a multifaceted approach improving public safety. The FY 2025 enacted budget also includes $290 million to improve the effectiveness of the continuum of the criminal justice system, including nearly $160 million for law enforcement agencies and community-based organizations:

•$80 million to offset costs of discovery reform implementation and pretrial procedure changes in all 62 counties. Those reforms first took effect Jan. 1, 2020.

•$59,459,000 in aid to prosecution funding for the 62 district attorneys’ offices in the state. The governor more than quadrupled this funding in FY23 – from $12,549,000 to $52,549,000 – and further increased it in FY25. This funding provides critical support for additional prosecutors and administrative staff, as well as the training, technology and equipment needed to advance evidence-based prosecutions which help ensure public safety.

•$20 million in pretrial services in the 57 counties outside of New York City. This funding supports an array of services, including screening and assessments, supervision, and dedicated information-sharing. Probation departments and community-based providers receive this critical funding to enhance services that improve public safety and return more people to court.

DCJS administers aid to prosecution, discovery, and pretrial funding, and distributes it based on a five-year average of lower court arraignment numbers in each county. Counties will receive official notification of those awards no later than Aug. 1, 2024.

The 28 GIVE police departments are divided between two tiers: 15 tier I agencies focus on shootings and firearm-related crimes, and 13 tier II agencies target violent crime reduction. The Albany, Buffalo, Hempstead, Mt. Vernon, Nassau County, Newburgh, Niagara Falls, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Schenectady, Suffolk County, Syracuse, Troy, Utica and Yonkers police departments are tier I agencies.

Five-year trends for tier I agencies – available because they have participated in GIVE since its inception in 2014 – show that reported gun violence in the communities those agencies serve has reached pre-pandemic lows. When comparing data from the first five months of 2024 to the five-year average (2018-23), shooting incidents with injury decreased 37%; the number of shooting victims declined 33%, and there were 19 fewer (32%) individuals killed.

Tier II agencies – the Amherst, Auburn, Binghamton, Cheektowaga, Elmira, Greece, Ithaca, Jamestown, Kingston, Lackawanna, Middletown, Spring Valley and Watertown police departments – reported four fewer (16 vs. 20) shooting incidents, two fewer shooting victims (20 vs. 22), and one fewer shooting death (4 vs. 5) when comparing January through May of this year with the same period in 2023.

Regardless of GIVE tier, police departments and their county partners must collaborate to develop a comprehensive plan to address shootings or violent crime. They must use problem-oriented policing (POP) as the framework for developing their plans, incorporate procedural justice into all elements of the plan, and implement more than one of the following evidence-based strategies: hot-spots policing; focused deterrence; street outreach; and crime prevention through environmental design. New York is unique among states for its commitment to providing comprehensive training and technical support that helps these agencies implement proven practices and evidence-based strategies as intended.

The Division of Criminal Justice Services provides critical support to all facets of the state’s criminal justice system, including, but not limited to: training law enforcement and other criminal justice professionals; overseeing a law enforcement accreditation program; ensuring Breathalyzer and speed enforcement equipment used by local law enforcement operate correctly; managing criminal justice grant funding; analyzing statewide crime and program data; providing research support; overseeing county probation departments and alternatives to incarceration programs; and coordinating youth justice policy.

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