A new statewide initiative designed to give law enforcement agencies a leg up on gun-related violence will soon make its way to local police.
The Jamestown Police Department, along with the District Attorney's Office, Sheriff's Office and Probation Department will be the recipients of a $195,200 grant as part of the Gun Involved Violence Elimination initiative.
Announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday, the GIVE initiative will give 17 counties more than $13.2 million dollars, all in an effort to reduce shootings and firearm-related homicides in the state.
"The state is working to reduce gun violence and make New York's communities safer for all," Cuomo said. "Through the GIVE initiative, we are partnering with local law enforcement agencies to address the causes of violent crime, reduce shootings and bring offenders to justice."
The GIVE initiative builds upon Operation IMPACT, a campaign launched in 2004 to aid 17 New York state counties (outside of New York City) that accounted for more than 80 percent of part 1 index crimes, such as property crimes, larcenies, etc.
GIVE focuses on communities that collectively report 86 percent of the violent crimes in the state outside of New York City. These are Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Hempstead, Jamestown, Kingston, Middletown, Mount Vernon, Newburgh, Niagara Falls, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Schenectady, Spring Valley, Syracuse, Troy and Yonkers, as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties.
While gun violence may not be a rampant problem in Jamestown, police remain vigilant of any gun-related activity, such as the recent shooting in Chadakoin Park.
"We are actively seeking information on (gun violence) almost on a daily basis," said Captain Robert Samuelson, division commander of the Jamestown Police Department. "(The GIVE funds) build on Operation Impact and are what we use to fund our crime analyst."
The crime analyst, according to Jamestown Police, provides support and coordination to the department's field intelligence network in order to collect and disseminate timely and accurate crime data and intelligence. He or she also works closely with command staff to assist in the effective and efficient deployment of law enforcement resources.
According to Gov. Cuomo's office, the Department of Criminal Justice Services will administer the grants, evaluate the agencies' progress over the course of the funding cycle (July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015) and provide ongoing technical assistance to help ensure GIVE partner agencies are effectively implementing evidence-based strategies.
"This funding will help ensure safer communities for millions of New Yorkers," Cuomo said. "I am proud to be supporting the men and women who work to keep our streets safe."