State and Community Leaders Have Agreed on Initiatives to Respond to Ongoing Gun Violence in Identified Cluster Zones
Key Initiatives Include Creating Jobs and Summer Programs for At-Risk Youth; Increasing Presence of Violence Interveners in Community; and Expanding Community Services and Assistance for Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Family Crisis
Following today's gun violence prevention community meeting for the Capital Region, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced 501 jobs will be available for at-risk youth in 13 ZIP codes that make up the zone. The ZIP codes are: 12202, 12204, 12206, 12207, 12209, and 12210, in Albany; 12180 and 12182, in Troy; 12303, 12304, 12307, 12308, and 12309, in Schenectady.
The State will provide funding to create 111 summer jobs for youth aged 15 to 24 in this zone to keep them employed until the start of school this year. The State will also partner with the local workforce development boards and community partners to provide job training, credentialing and career placement services to ultimately connect 390 at-risk youth living in these zones to good-paying, permanent jobs. Unemployed, underemployed and out-of-school youth age 18-24 in areas of cities impacted by gun violence will be eligible.
"This crisis that has plagued our communities has taken too many lives for us to just hope that it somehow resolves itself," Governor Cuomo said. "We have an obligation to protect our kids and anyone else who may be vulnerable to gun violence, and today's meeting brought different stakeholders into one room, so we can agree on the concrete solutions for the parts of the Capital Region where gun violence has been most ravaging."
Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo kicked off a series of community meetings that will be held in emerging gun violence hot spots across the state, where State officials and community leaders can carve out initiatives to address the ongoing gun violence. The initiatives focus on engaging the most at-risk youth in cluster zones in employment and community activities, hiring new community-based gun violence interrupters, as well as assistance for mental health and substance use disorders.
Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 211 declaring gun violence a disaster emergency and requiring New York State's Division of Criminal Justice Services to compile incident-level data provided by major police departments on a weekly basis so that it may be used by the newly established Office of Gun Violence Prevention to track emerging gun violence hot spots and deploy resources to areas most in need.
In today's meeting for the Capital Region, specific steps to combat gun violence included:
- Creating 111 summer jobs for youth and 390 long-term jobs placed in partnership with the local workforce development board;
- Establishing summer programs for youth, including more than 20 activities in Grafton Lakes and in State parks across the Capital District;
- Hiring new violence interveners to work at existing community intervention programs; and
- Expanding community services and assistance for mental health support, substance abuse treatment and family crisis intervention.
On July 6, Governor Cuomo declared the first-in-the-nation gun violence disaster emergency as part of a new, comprehensive strategy to build a safer New York. This new strategy treats gun violence as a public health crisis, using short-term solutions to manage the immediate gun violence crisis and reduce the shooting rate, as well as long-term solutions that focus on community-based intervention and prevention strategies to break the cycle of violence. The disaster emergency allows the State to expedite money and resources to communities so they can begin targeting gun violence immediately.