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 Kathy Hochul today 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.
"There is no greater obligation than ensuring every New Yorker can live in safety, and that has always been my number one priority," Governor Hochul said. "We have leveraged local, state, and federal resources to create a one-of-a-kind network that is the backbone of local law enforcement agencies' crime-fighting efforts. We will continue to use state-of-the-art tools and technology to analyze data and share information - allowing investigators to solve murders, robberies, burglaries and gun crimes across the state, and creating a safer New York for all."
Governor Hochul toured the center with Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Albany County Executive Dan McCoy after meeting with the Center Board of Directors to learn more about how the centers assist police agencies and prosecutors' office, particularly with cases involving firearms. Through a unique partnership between the state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the 10 centers access the ATF's National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) and by this summer, each center will have technology on-site to process shell casings and identify potential matches from different crime scenes in multiple jurisdictions across the state. This identification process previously took up to a month but will now take 24 to 48 hours and has a 99.6 accuracy rating.
Division of Criminal Justice Services Commissioner Rossana Rosado said, "DCJS is proud to provide vital resources, training and other assistance to our law enforcement partners so they can better serve our communities and use effective strategies to help prevent gun violence and reduce violent crime. We thank Governor Hochul for her leadership and support for our public safety efforts, helping to ensure that our law enforcement partners have the tools they need to focus on the most critical issues and create safer communities for all New Yorkers."
U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge John DeVito said, "This partnership between ATF and all of our federal, state and local partners has never been stronger in New York State. We are especially thankful for the partnership with Governor Hochul, and DCJS leadership for embracing the ATF Crime Gun Intelligence violent crime reduction strategy. The data derived from crime gun tracing, ballistics analysis and total collaboration amongst investigative partners will help all law enforcement better protect the public. This is all a result of Governor Kathy Hochul and DCJS Commissioner Rossana Rosado's commitment to invest and expand upon these vital public safety resources across the state, and ultimately the country."
First established in 2009 to serve law enforcement agencies in Albany County, the Capital Region Crime Analysis Center now serves Columbia, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, and Washington Counties and provides assistance to any police agency or prosecutor's office upon request. This center is currently staffed by 24 analysts and personnel, either funded by DCJS or assigned by local, state, and federal agencies, including the Albany and Schenectady police departments; Albany County Probation Department; New York State Police; New York National Guard; New York-New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA); ATF; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The new, 4,100-square-foot location allows the center to have space for up to 39 employees.
Last year, Governor Hochul secured $15 million in the FY 23 Budget for the Crime Analysis Center Network, administered by DCJS, which nearly doubled the state's investment. The other centers in the network are located in Broome, Erie, Franklin, Niagara, Monroe, Oneida, Onondaga, Orange, and Suffolk Counties and, in total, the network serves more than 350 law enforcement agencies in 43 counties, as well as any agency upon request. Each center is overseen by a board of directors with representation from DCJS, as well as local and state agencies.
In 2022, staff at the 10 centers responded to more than 66,000 requests for assistance from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, helping agencies solve murders, robberies, burglaries, gun crimes, and other serious cases. Just last week, the East Greenbush Police Department announced it had solved the 1994 murder of 81-year-old Wilomeana "Violet" Filkins; staff of the Capital Region center provided investigative support that assisted with the case.
We will continue to use state-of-the-art tools and technology to analyze data and share information - allowing investigators to solve murders, robberies, burglaries and gun crimes across the state, and creating a safer New York for all.
In the Governor's 2023 State of the State agenda, Governor Hochul outlined a comprehensive public safety plan and investments to drive down gun violence and violent crime that includes:
- Expanding the state's Crime Analysis Center Network to New York City.
- Doubling funding for the Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) initiative to $36 million. The GIVE initiative supports 20 police departments in 17 counties that account for more than 80 percent of the violent crime that occurs in New York State outside of New York City: Albany, Broome, Chautauqua, Dutchess, Erie, Monroe, Nassau, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Orange, Rensselaer, Rockland, Schenectady, Suffolk, Ulster and Westchester. District attorneys' offices, probation departments, sheriffs' offices, and other partners in those counties also receive funding through the initiative.
- In 2022, shootings in several GIVE jurisdictions decreased from the year before, including Buffalo (32 percent decrease), Long Island (29 percent decrease), Westchester (17 percent), and Rochester (13 percent).
- Bolstering State Police support by increasing Community Stabilization Units from 16 to 25 communities, funding an unprecedented four academy classes and expanding presence on federal task forces.
- More than tripling funding to $52 million, up from $12 million, for the state's 62 district attorney's offices and sustaining discovery and pretrial services funding for costs associated with implementation of recent criminal justice reforms to discovery and pretrial procedures, which took effect January 1, 2020.
Driving Down Gun Violence
Last year, shootings dropped 17 percent in New York City and 15 percent outside of the city. Additionally, 10,093 guns were seized by all law enforcement agencies across New York last year. This marks a 59 percent increase from 2019, during which 6,819 guns were seized, and an 11 percent increase from 2021, during which 9,088 guns seized. Gun seizures by the State Police are also up 160 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels, from 528 seizures in 2019 to 1,376 in 2022. State Police also seized 120 ghost guns in 2022, which is 85 percent more than in 2021.
Since taking office, Governor Hochul has taken actions to strengthen New York State's gun violence prevention laws by advancing efforts to:
- Ban ghost guns.
- Expand bail eligibility for gun crimes.
- Toughen prosecutions of gun trafficking.
- Mandate the use of the Red Flag law, leading to more than 5,400 Extreme Risk Protection Orders issued, which was a 300 percent increase from 2021.
- Raise the age to purchase semi-automatic weapons to 21.
- Launch the first-in-the-nation Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns, which will meet again in mid-February.
- Triple State investments in gun violence interruption programs.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, "Albany is proud to be home to the newest and largest Crime Analysis Center in New York State. The work happening here is helping us take a record number of illegal guns off our streets, apprehend violent individuals, and identify trends to help inform our proactive deployment of police resources. Thank you to Governor Hochul and DCJS Commissioner RossanaRosado for partnering with Chief Hawkins and the Albany Police Department and making this important investment that is enhancing public safety every day."
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, "New Yorkers deserve the peace of mind that comes with living in safe communities, and this $500,000 investment for an expanded crime analysis center in Albany is another demonstration of Governor Hochul's commitment to public safety. Today I was happy to tour the new facility with the Governor and Mayor Sheehan to see firsthand the important work being done to assist local law enforcement in getting guns off the street and preventing violent crime in the future."
The Division of Criminal Justice Services is a multi-function criminal justice support agency and has 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. Follow the agency on Twitter and Facebook.
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