Invests More Than $2.25 Million In State Funding Through SNUG and GIVE Initiatives in Rochester Area
Federal and Local Partners Provided With Expanded Access to State Intelligence and Resources
Boosts State Police Presence in Rochester Area and Launches Undercover Operations and Expanded Patrols
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a series of new actions to combat gang violence in Rochester. The State is increasing funding for the SNUG and Gun Involved Violence Elimination initiatives, bringing this year's total investment to more than $2.25 million for the Rochester area.
At the Governor’s direction, federal and local law enforcement partners will now have expanded access to state intelligence expertise, aviation assistance and specialized equipment to better coordinate operations and leverage intelligence-based policing strategies in the fight against violent crime and drug trafficking.
Additionally, New York State Police Troop E will add 10 new troopers to launch expanded patrols, as well as support ongoing anti-gang efforts through undercover operations. The deployment includes a new Rochester-based member of the State’s Gang Intelligence Unit stationed at the Monroe Crime Analysis Center and will be supported by four troopers already embedded with the Rochester Police Department.
"In coordination with our local and federal partners, the New York State Police works vigilantly to crack down on gang violence and safeguard our communities," Governor Cuomo said. "By investing new resources to prevent gun violence and stop gang activity, we are doubling down on our efforts to protect neighborhoods throughout the region and build a stronger, safer New York for all."
Currently, three out of five homicides in the Rochester area has a suspected connection to gang activity. The Governor’s strengthened efforts will strike at the heart of nearly 150 different criminal organizations, as well as their 800 members in order to reduce shootings, street crime and drug trafficking in the city.
Monroe County is currently one of 17 counties receiving funding through New York State’s Gun Involved Violence Elimination initiative. The partnership, consisting of the Rochester Police Department and the Monroe County Sheriff’s and District Attorney’s offices and Probation Department, has received an increase in funding this year, bringing the total award to $1,744,060 to reduce shootings and firearm-related homicides. The GIVE initiative provides funding to support technical assistance, training, equipment, and personnel – such as prosecutors and crime analysts – to help communities reduce gun violence and save lives.
"By investing new resources to prevent gun violence and stop gang activity, we are doubling down on our efforts to protect neighborhoods throughout the region..."
Rochester is also home to one of 11 state-funded street outreach programs, also referred to as SNUG. The non-profit Action for a Better Community will receive an increase of funding this year, bringing their total award to $535,000 to administer the program. Specially trained individuals are employed to reduce violence or prevent further violence from occurring when tensions arise within their community. The program also connects high-risk individuals with social services and support and also engages the community to through neighborhood events and public education activities. GIVE and SNUG funding is administered by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services.
As part of the Governor’s efforts to fight back against gangs, Governor Cuomo has directed the State Police make available any resources that could assist in not only improving coordination among law enforcement agencies, but that could strengthen or expedite ongoing investigations. This includes everything from aviation support to enhanced coordination with the Gang Intelligence Unit based in state’s Intelligence Center thanks to the addition of a Rochester-based investigator stationed at the Monroe Crime Analysis Center. The Unit collects, analyzes, and disseminates intelligence on street, prison, and outlaw motorcycle gangs and extremist/hate/transient criminal groups and the new investigator will be tasked with focusing these resources directly at Rochester.
Rochester residents will also begin to observe a much larger State Police presence in their communities. In addition to four troopers already embedded with the Rochester Police Department, 10 more members will be joining Troop E begin new highly visible patrols and anti-gang efforts, including undercover operations, to target and saturate neighborhoods known to have a high level of gang activity. These efforts will not only deter crimes from occurring, but also prevent possible illegal activity.
These new actions will augment the wide range of ongoing state-supported efforts to crackdown on gang and gun activity in Rochester. The Monroe Crime Analysis Center was one of the first created by the state in partnership with local law enforcement. The center is part of a network of eight state-supported centers serving 16 counties in the Capital Region, North Country, Central and Western New York, the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier. The state partners with local law enforcement in those counties and invests approximately $6 million annually for personnel and technology at the eight centers. This allows for faster, better information and intelligence sharing across regions and police agencies on gang cases and other criminal investigations.
Governor Cuomo also highlighted the $12 million included in the FY 2018 State Budget to combat the heroin and opioid crisis in Finger Lakes Region communities by supporting prevention, treatment and recovery programs targeted toward chemical dependency, residential service opportunities, and public awareness and education activities.
Superintendent George P. Beach II said, “We are expanding our relationship with our law enforcement partners in Rochester in an effort to push out the gang violence that is plaguing parts of the city. This commitment includes the resources and intelligence needed to hold violent criminals accountable for their actions and return a sense of safety and security to our neighborhoods.”
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Executive Deputy Commissioner Michael C. Green said, “Even though New York remains the safest large state in the nation, gang violence still claims too many victims, often young people in our most challenged neighborhoods. The actions announced by Governor Cuomo today will complement DCJS’s ongoing efforts to partner with Rochester and help stymie gang activity through the Crime Analysis Center network, the GIVE initiative and the SNUG program –all of which are having a positive impact.
Mayor Lovely Warren said, “Today, Governor Cuomo is standing with us to help put an end to gang violence in our city once and for all. Strong collaboration between local and state law enforcement is critical to our success as we work together to create more jobs, safer more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens. We are grateful for the Governor’s support.”