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Governor Cuomo Announces $900,000 in Gun Violence Prevention Grants for Local Communities

Troy, Wyandanch and Hempstead Join Seven Communities Already Using Outreach and Intervention Programs to Reduce Gun Violence in Urban Areas

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Hempstead, NY - November 5, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State will provide a total of $900,000 in grants to fund neighborhood-based violence reduction programs in Hempstead and Wyandanch based on Long Island and Troy in the Capital Region. The three communities join seven others that received funding last year to target and reduce gun violence through outreach and intervention in the state’s urban areas.

“This funding will allow these communities to use proven strategies to reduce gun violence in their neighborhoods and prevent more senseless tragedies from occurring," said Governor Cuomo. “It is part of this administration's efforts to fight gun violence and make New York a safer state for all."

Both the Hempstead and Troy programs are SNUG, “guns” spelled backwards, programs which follow the outlines of the Cure Violence model being used around the country. Cure Violence combines street outreach and “violence interrupters” in localities exhibiting high volumes of shootings and homicides to reduce violence or prevent further violence from occurring. The programs use a coordinated strategy aimed at engaging the community through neighborhood events and public educacomtion activities. The Wyandanch program uses a different violence reduction model.

Each community will receive $300,000 to implement the gun violence reduction programs through the following organizations:

  • The Family and Children’s Association, located in Hempstead in Nassau County, will offer a SNUG program through its Providing Alternatives to Guns and Gangs initiative, a grassroots effort designed to assist at-risk youth by building on long-standing partnerships to prevent violence in Hempstead.
  • The Trinity Alliance, located in Albany and already running a SNUG program there, will implement a SNUG program in Troy’s North Central neighborhood, which has seen sharp spikes in violent crime. This will help reduce violence and combat instances of gun violence that have arisen that have connections to both cities. Trinity’s program also follows the Cure Violence model.
  • The Economic Opportunity Council, located in Wyandanch in Suffolk County, will build on previous partnerships with the Suffolk County Police Department and the County Probation Department to focus on reducing gun violence. The program will use a model developed by the Institute for the Study and Practice of Non-Violence in Providence, aimed at reducing gang violence by incorporating principles of non-violence to prevent violent situations.

Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo announced more than $2 million in grant funding for programs in Albany, Bronx, Buffalo, Mount Vernon, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers. With the addition of the Troy, Nassau and Suffolk programs, a total of 10 New York State communities are implementing the programs in an effort to combat gun violence.

The funding is administered by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, which works with the Center for Court Innovation to monitor the programs and evaluate their operations one year after they were implemented.

DCJS Executive Deputy Commissioner Michael C. Green said, “We are excited to add these communities to seven others in the state where we support street outreach efforts. These efforts have been proven effective in reducing gun violence nationally by engaging the community and using trained violence interrupters to proactively head off gun violence. These efforts align with others that are designed to aid our local partners in their fight against violent crime.”

The programs complement the state’s Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) initiative, which also is administered by DCJS and currently provides $13.2 million to police departments, sheriffs’ offices, district attorneys’ offices and probation departments in 17 counties Upstate and on Long Island with the goal of reducing, solving and preventing shootings and firearm-related homicides.

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services is a multi-function 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 state’s 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.

Photo by Jason Conlon, via Free Images.