Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced more than $3.7 million in grant funding to fight against motor vehicle theft and insurance fraud. The grant awards will go to district attorneys' offices and police departments in seven counties and New York City, the Fire Department of New York, as well as to two training organizations, all of which will work to enhance their efforts in reducing these crimes.
“These grants will help protect New Yorkers from car theft, as well as higher car insurance rates,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding will go a long way to helping law enforcement and other agencies around the state continue to crack down on these crimes, and I am proud the state is supporting their efforts.”
The selected agencies will continue their efforts to combat motor vehicle theft – which has been steadily declining in New York. Law enforcement reported 15,451 thefts in 2013, a 10 percent decrease from 2012 and a 62 percent decrease since 2003. They will also target suspected motor vehicle insurance fraud.
The 17 organizations and agencies will receive grants and use them in a variety of ways to combat fraud, including funding either all or a portion of the salaries of assistant district attorneys and investigators specifically assigned to handle motor vehicle theft and insurance fraud cases, pay overtime for enhanced enforcement and sting operations and offer specialized training for prosecutors, police officers and investigators. The funding cycle for the grants aligns with the calendar year.
The grants are awarded by the state’s Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention program, which is overseen by a 12-member Board. Awardees were selected by the Board after reviewing applications submitted in response to a competitive request for proposal process that required a joint application from district attorneys’ offices and police departments in their counties. New York City was exempt from that requirement: district attorneys in the five boroughs and New York Police Department each applied separately but committed to collaborative investigation, enforcement and prosecution efforts as part of the application process.
The State Division of Criminal Justice Services serves as the staff for the board and administers the grant program, which targets urban communities with high rates of fraud and theft, and is funded through a $10 fee assessed on insurance policies issued for vehicles registered in the state.
Division of Criminal Justice Services Executive Deputy Commissioner Michael C. Green said, “This year, we required agencies that sought grants to detail greater collaboration at the county level to ensure that district attorneys’ offices and police departments were coordinating their efforts more closely. We also expect grantees to work with regional crime analysis centers, including those that the Division of Criminal Justice Services supports in five Upstate counties, to identify trends and patterns involving motor vehicle collisions so that investigators and prosecutors can use that information to bring people who would commit fraud to justice.”
Statewide Training Grants
- New York Anti-Car Theft and Fraud Association (NYACT): $62,000
- New York State Prosecutors Institute (NYPTI): $38,800
New York City
- Bronx County District Attorney’s Office: $273,000
- Fire Department of New York (FDNY): $104,000
- Kings County District Attorney’s Office: $210,900
- New York County District Attorney’s Office: $250,900
- New York City Police Department (NYPD): a total of $277,000 to two specialized units, the Auto Crime Division and the Fraudulent Collision Investigation Unit
- Queens County District Attorney’s Office: $556,000
- Richmond County District Attorney’s Office: $76,700
- Nassau County: $255,000, to be shared by the District Attorney’s Office, $128,500 and Nassau County Police Department, $126,500
- Suffolk County: $455,500 to be shared by the District Attorney’s Office, $312,500 and Suffolk County Police Department: $143,000
- Westchester County: $450,000 to be shared by the District Attorney’s Office, $316,000 and Yonkers Police Department, $134,000
- Albany County: $105,000 to be shared by the District Attorney’s Office, $69,000 and Albany Police Department, $36,000
- Monroe County: $199,500 to be shared by the District Attorney’s Office, $127,000; Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, $31,000; and Rochester Police Department: $41,500
Western New York
- Erie County: $266,200 to be shared by the District Attorney’s Office, $121,500; Buffalo Police Department, $97,700; and Cheektowaga Police Department, $47,000
- Niagara County: $168,500 to be shared by the District Attorney’s Office, $114,000; Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, $21,000; and Niagara Falls Police Department, $33,500
The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (www.criminaljustice.ny.gov) 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.