January 24, 2023
Albany, NY

B-Roll, Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul Announces Expansion of the Capital Region Crime Analysis Center and Highlights State of the State Proposals to Increase Funding for Local Law Enforcement Agencies

B-Roll, Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul Announces Expansion of the Capital Region Crime Analysis Center and Highlights State of the State Proposals to Increase Funding for Local Law Enforcement Agencies

New Center is $500,000 Upgrade, Four Times the Size of Former Location, and has Space for Twice the Number of Staff

One of 10 Across the State Funded by a Record $15 Million Investment Secured by Governor Hochul

Governor Highlighted Major Public Safety Initiatives as Part of the 2023 State of the State Agenda, Including Expanding Crime Analysis Center Network to New York City, Doubling Funding for the Gun Involved Violence Elimination Initiative, and Tripling Funding to the State's 62 District Attorneys' Offices

Governor Hochul: "We'll always be at the forefront of the effort to protect our citizens from crime...Let the criminals know. Put them on notice. You're not welcome here in the State of New York. You're going to commit a crime or harm another individual, pick up a gun, and use it in furtherance of a crime? You will be stopped. You will be stopped. And that is our commitment."

Hochul: "Last year we saw a double digit decrease in both homicides and shootings...And it didn't happen by accident. You don't just stand there and be like, 'I hope the crime goes down. Boy, it'd be nice if it went down.' You do something about it. You enter the arena. You enter the fight. And also, it's not what we do. It's the bravery, the courage of our law enforcement partners and the investments that we're going to continue to make, like the task force, like this."

Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the expansion of the Capital Region Crime Analysis Center in Albany, one of 10 centers in a state-supported network providing critical crime analysis, information, and investigative support to help law enforcement agencies more effectively solve, reduce, and prevent crime. Located at the City of Albany's Police Headquarters, the center received a $500,000 upgrade, making it four times the size of its former location with space for twice the number of staff. After touring the center, Governor Hochul highlighted the major public safety initiatives included in the 2023 State of the State agenda, which includes expanding the Crime Analysis Center network to New York City, doubling funding for the state's Gun Involved Violence Elimination initiative, and more than tripling aid to the state's 62 district attorneys' offices.

B-ROLL of the event is available here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

VIDEO of the event is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

AUDIO of the event is available here.

PHOTOS of the event are available on the Governor's Flickr page.

A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:

All right. You heard it here. This is what we're doing in this facility, a facility that we expanded to make sure that they had all the capability they need. So, I want to thank John, the Director of the Capital Region Crime Analysis Center, John Riegert, also for what you've done across the state.

I mean, this is one center here in the Capital Region. We're doing this all over New York, and we put more money behind this, we put more resources, the technology, because we need to keep working together from the local, county, state, and federal level to make sure that we are united in our effort to stop criminals from perpetrating crimes on our citizens.

That's why we're here. That's why we have a responsibility as leaders to protect our public, and that has been my number one priority since I became the Governor. I want to recognize some of our leaders who are here today. We have Kathy Sheehan, who's going to close out for us, the Mayor of Albany. Thank you for being so engaged in these efforts to protect the people of our communities. And our County Executive Dan McCoy has joined us. Good to see you again, Dan. Our Commissioner, Rossana Rosado, is here from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. A great partner, a true leader at a time when we need you. Major Dennis Schager, the Troop Commander for the New York State Police Troop G Andrew Munson, the Lead Crime Analyst from the Analysis Center. We have our local DAs, sheriff's law enforcement, we have Mayor Gary McCarthy, and Mayor Patrick Madden. Gary's from Schenectady, Mayor Madden is from Troy - two places I frequent often when I'm not in Albany, Mayor.

I do visit the other communities as well. Sorry about that. I also get up to Saratoga quite a bit too. We also have our district attorneys, and I thank our district attorneys for really being on the front line. And we're going to continue, you'll hear in my remarks, investing in your work as well because I know it's been tough. You've been shorthanded and we want to make sure that you have what you need to be successful. David Soares from Albany, if want to raise your hands, everybody who's here with David Soares. DA Tony Jordan from Washington County and President of the District Attorney's Association, thank you, Tony. Rob Carney from Schenectady, Karen Hagen from Saratoga, and Mary Pat Donnelly from Rensselaer. And I hope I didn't leave anybody off this list, but it's our sheriffs, it's our DAs, it's our chiefs of police, and I want to thank also the leaders of our various governments who put them to work doing this and supporting them as well.

So, here we are. You heard about something we're very proud of, our Capital Region Crime Analysis Center. Before we came here, I had a chance to meet with the board of directors to tell them my priorities and how we work together to achieve our collective objective to protect the people of this state.

And you know, we think about what we're doing here in New York, but you can't wake up without hearing about another horrific crime - the mass shootings in California, which are so abhorrent and seem so unrelenting. People are just getting so exhausted of having to read about another mass shooting.

I think I heard that there were 38 mass shootings this year alone. We're not even out of this month. 38 mass shootings in the United States of America, and it has to stop. And we felt the pain deeply with what happened in Buffalo and tracing back, this was an individual radicalized in the southern part of our state, Southern Tier, traveled to Buffalo, so people are not just committing crimes in their own communities. And whether it's that or it's the everyday street crime where we're losing people, it's just, it's too much. And we're making a difference. I want to continue thanking those on the front lines for what you do, but, you know, our hearts are broken.

Our country is being torn apart by gun violence. And 18 lives lost in three days. These are moms and dads and brothers and sisters, and you know, it's just something we have to end this epidemic of shootings in this country, and that's why we're working so hard here in New York. As I just mentioned, I toured this facility. The technology's extraordinary, what we're going to be able to do like never before with a $500,000 investment to give them what they need here. It's four times the size, double the staff of what it had been before I became Governor because I said, "This is where we invest our money, in the people who are solving crimes and preventing crimes ultimately." I got a chance to check out the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, which is a mouthful, but it's a supercomputer. And what this does is like, you can trace ballistic evidence from bullet casings and see if the gun was used in crimes anywhere in the country. I mean, that is data that is helpful to stop the next crime.

And it used to take a month to be able to trace this - a month. You know how much time is lost? You know how many more crimes are committed in a month with someone who's on a rampage and has no remorse? It's just going to go to victim and victim and victim. We can now do that analysis in 24 hours. So, look at the prevention opportunities we have here with just with that technology and the trained men and women who work here.

So, that also has a 99.6 percent accuracy rating. I'll take that any day of the week. Those are good numbers. And we're proud to have the opportunity to use that technology here. So, we all know that we've been laser focused at the state level on the rising crime, some of it pandemic-driven. I guess sociologists will have - anybody can look at it and everybody's welcome to analyze it.

We have to figure out what happened during the pandemic and when the crime rates were declining in our cities, in our rural areas, in our suburban areas, it was going down. The pandemic somehow unleashed human behavior that we've not seen the likes of in many, many years. So as the pandemic is ending, although we still lost 20 lives yesterday alone, 4,000 cases, it's not quite over. But the real effects seem to be abating, in terms of the isolation and the disruption of everyday lives that may have fed some of this - I don't know. I don't have the analysis.

But we have been working nonstop to find crime fighting strategies that actually work. So, to help our law enforcement, we banned ghost guns. Ghost guns, people manufacturing a gun that they can order online, have it shipped to their house, sit at their dining room table, and put together a gun that actually can be lethal and go out and kill somebody - undetected. We banned them here in the State of New York.

We expanded bail eligibility for gun crimes. Had to reset this, say, "You're committing crimes with guns, you are no longer ineligible for bail." You will have bail eligibility, which is important. We have tougher prosecutions of gun trafficking. We also mandated the use of the red flag law, an underused tool that a lot of people didn't know much about. But my God, the effect has been extraordinary.

We've had over 5,400 cases - a 300 percent increase since this time last year. I mean, that's extraordinary. I think we had 1,300 cases, 5,400 now, where people, law enforcement and citizens who are aware, are starting to say, "You know what? I'm seeing the signs." That's what a red flag is. A red flag goes up. That's a warning sign. It's a warning sign. Whether it's in a school, it's a workplace, community, social media. You see something, say, "That's just not right." And we now have enough evidence of people telegraphing off what they're going to do. So red flag allows us to not solve a crime after the fact, but to prevent the crime. So that's 5,400 cases because we got tough. We said, "What can we do to help our localities and our State Police by mandating it." That when these circumstances arise, you must seek a red flag order.

We have to continue educating our judges. Some are very cooperative, and some have not been. So, I'm tackling that angle as well. But the 300 percent increase in one year is extraordinary. We also raised the age to purchase a semi-automatic weapon to 21. So, we don't have teenagers, like what happened in Buffalo, being able to go out and legally buy a gun on their 18th birthday. How insane was that? Then they drive down to Pennsylvania, buy a, you know, a magazine that allows them to have high capacity, create an illegal gun because they could buy the base of it legally. That's got to stop. It stopped here.

And we also launched the first in the nation, which President Biden has recognized, the first time in the nation that neighboring states - I have nine states that view themselves in partnership, and we had meetings here, launched it a year ago and they'll meet again in February. They meet regularly, where they share data. We're talking about sharing data, but saying, "Okay, where are the guns coming from? Where are they going when they get here? And how do we stop them?" That level of coordination was nonexistent before.

And we also tripled - tripled - our investments in the violence disruption programs, which are community based. You get the money in the hands, and many times these are people who've had their own encounters with the law and the criminal justice system, they know the streets, they know the motivators that lead people to pick up a gun instead of picking up an iPad in school. So that's what we're going after here is working at the community level, at the street level as well.

In New York City, we have more police officers on the subways. I brought in State Police and MTA police and said, "We're going to redeploy you to make these subway systems safer." And also, you know what's so important is people are finally working together. There's not a competition. We're not siloed where the ATF is over here and the local government's over here, and the state's over here and we're all saying, you know, we want to be the ones that hold the press conference and say we nabbed somebody. No, you do a press conference all standing shoulder to shoulder. And that's a scary site to the criminals when they know you're coordinated, you're working together. And we're not in competition, as has happened in years past.

So, we're doubling down, that's just the first year on the job. I had an opportunity to put forth my priorities, my values in our State of State address. And you'll see those actually operationalized in a budget, which I'll be announcing very shortly.

So, let's talk about the public safety front. Gun violence, Gun Involved Violence Elimination Initiative, just call it GIVE, it's easier. Let's increase the funding for that. That goes into the high target communities, the ones we've identified. There's 20 communities across the state. We're going to increase that number. Right now, it's funded at $18 million. We're going to increase it to $36 million. And this also allows us to, you know, work with the local mayors and sheriffs and district attorneys on the strategy that they want. We'll help fund you. Not every community's the same, you have a different way to approach it. We need to give you the resources, the money you need to be able to make sure that you are successful.

Also, I'm redeploying our State Police like never before. I mean, they're extraordinary. I want to increase the number of State Police. I want to speak at more graduations. As I speak to many mayors, you know, they're trying to get more people. I spoke with, I was just with Mayor Walsh, and I was just with Mayor Evans in Rochester yesterday, talking about, "What else do you need?"

He says, "We have academies, people coming through. Our last academy only had five graduates." Many years ago, when I was hiring police officers in my local government, we had so many people, we had to turn down a lot of talent. Something has shifted here. We have to get young people, individuals who want to change careers, excited about public service and how there's nothing more noble than being out there putting on a uniform to protect your community. We have to instill that sense of responsibility to others that was always there but is not there the way it once was. And so, I want to focus on that as well.

So, I'm focusing on our State Police. We're increasing our community stabilization units from 16 to 25 communities. They're literally on the ground, State Police, like never before, on the ground in high need communities like Rochester and Syracuse, they'll be wherever you want them to be. And they're trained, they're professionals, and they're integrated with the local police departments, again, not competing, working together. We are also, again, at the State Police level, we usually do one or two academy classes a year. We're going to have four. So, get the word out. Someone wants to apply to be, you know, part of the proud, proud force of the New York State Police. There are great opportunities to really make a difference in your communities, and I want to continue funding those and making sure that support them as well.

Also, we're tripling our investments in funding for our prosecutors, up from $12 million, we're going to go to $52 million to help our prosecutors across the state. You need more help. You need to do it. We want to have, you know, justice delayed is justice denied. So, there are cases that you're bringing, but we also want to get things through the court system faster.

I will say what has been frustrating for me is that during the pandemic, the New York State court system literally shut down, and there were no jury trials for two solid years. That meant that people who should have had their day in court and be incarcerated for their crime, or those who are accused but may be innocent were sitting there waiting. So, the system has to be liberated, and that's why I've been so focused on making sure that we get it going again because it is not sustainable to be at the rate we are. We have to get more cases through the system and helping our courts and our prosecutors is part of that as well. So, our coordination's going to continue.

And again, the Crime Analysis Centers, more investments there, all the work that they do as well. So, we're also expanding this network to New York City. Now, New York City, they've got everything, right? Well, they need a little bit more help, and we're going to help them as part of our proactive strategy, expand this network to New York City, because New York City is often the portal, the entryway for the drugs and the guns that are moving so quickly around the states. So, we have an interest in working with our police friends in New York City, to help them coordinate closely with NYPD, but then also, quickly, to get the data out to our local partners across the seat.

So, the numbers, it's starting to work. I will never say we're done. As long as one person is shot in this state, we're not done fighting crime. But last year we started all this, we talked about it, we start putting a concentrated effort on it. We're not defunding police. We are really ramping up funding for police. So, all that era is over. Last year we saw a double digit decrease in both homicides and shootings. And I commend everyone involved in this effort across the state. That is extraordinary. Those numbers could be up double. And look at the trend we are on. They could be double. Instead, they came down, a double-digit decrease. That's amazing. And look at the shootings. Last year's shootings dropped 15 percent outside New York City, down 17 percent in New York City compared to 2021. Buffalo, even with the mass shooting, still down 32 percent. Long Island is down 29 percent. Westchester down 17 percent. Rochester, down 13 percent. All GIVE jurisdictions, and it didn't happen by accident. You don't just stand there and be like, "I hope the crime goes down. Boy, it'd be nice if it went down." You do something about it. You enter the arena. You enter the fight. And also, it's not what we do. It's the bravery, the courage of our law enforcement partners and the investments that we're going to continue to make, like the task force, like this.

So, let's just give some final numbers here so you know the data. Last year, 10,093 guns were seized by law enforcement across New York State. 10,000. That's a 59 percent increase from 2019, 11 percent over 2021. That's amazing. That's amazing. Now, it's also another way of looking at it, we have a lot more guns coming into the state. So, I'm glad we confiscated 10,000. We're going to continue. Those numbers are going to increase. Again, that could be 3,000, it could be 5,000. It is 10,000 guns, and they're out of the hands of people who would do harm to others, and I'm proud of that. But we also have so many guns flowing into our streets still, and that's what I'm focused on. And gun seizures by the State Police are up 160 percent. From 2019 to 2020, they've gone from 528 to 1300, so I thank our State Police every chance I get. They also seized 120 ghost guns that weren't even illegal before we changed the law. 85 percent increase. So, here's what we need to do: Work on programs that work, focus on supporting our local police departments, focus on supporting all of our crime analysis centers, finding what else is going on in other parts of the country.

Is there any other community that's found another path that's working? This is New York, most want to see what we're doing, and this is state-of-the-art. Nobody's doing what we're doing here, But I'm always going to be humble enough as a Governor to say that someone else might have an idea that we need to also adopt here as well. I want that to continue. My team is laser-focused on what's happening, not just here, but other countries as well. We'll always be at the forefront of the effort to protect our citizens from crime, and whether that means hotspot policing, some sort of new technologies to identify where shots are occurring, deploy police there the second a shot is identified, focus deterrence, as well as the street outreach. So that's the future of crime fighting here in the State of New York. Just getting warmed up. Let the criminals know. Put them on notice. You're not welcome here in the State of New York. You're going to commit a crime or harm another individual, pick up a gun, and use it in furtherance of a crime? You will be stopped. You will be stopped. And that is our commitment.

And to all of you on the front lines who keep us safe every day, my heart's full of gratitude, especially those who are literally in harm's way, when you go out in those streets. So, to mayors and leaders, please go back to your police departments, to areas where they feel unappreciated and wonder why they get up and do what they do. There are people walking this earth still alive because of their courage and their willingness to do this for their fellow citizens, and I'll never take that for granted.

Thank you very much. We'll pull up our Mayor, Kathy Sheehan. Thank you, Mayor. Thanks for being such a great partner in all this. Thank you.

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