ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- New York has not been immune to the increase in gun violence seen across the nation since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Violent crimes involving a gun have returned to 2015 levels in the state, according to Gov. Hochul who outlined a public safety plan on Wednesday.
The Governor said New York will be working to provide more assistance to law enforcement agencies to decrease violent gun crime. Much of the plan focuses on expanding digital databases and making them available across law enforcement agencies to enhance tracking capacities.
More resources will be dedicated to tracking guns used in crimes through the creation of an Interstate Gun-Tracing Consortium, investments in New York’s Crime Analysis Centers, and the creation of Crime Gun Intelligence Centers throughout the state.
Gov. Hochul said she will fund software to monitor cryptocurrency exchanges that may include the sale of illegal guns. She said she will fund more equipment, software, and specialized onboarding to help the State Police clear the backlog of cases that need to be analyzed. Troop Computer Crime Units will also be expanded.
To combat pandemic-induced gun violence at the source, $5.8 million in emergency funding was provided to the NY SNUG outreach (SNUG) program. That emergency funding will remain with an additional 50% more funding in 2022. Additional money will be used to expand SNUG, put gun violence specialists in trauma centers, as well as create other community-based gun violence prevention programs.
To support New York’s bail reform laws, the Governor said more resources will be dedicated to probation departments and community-based providers outside of New York City for pretrial services. To help law enforcement agencies become more familiar with the state’s Red Flag Law, state-run training will be held in every region in 2022.
Ten areas that have seen the greatest increase in gun violence will also be identified by the Department of Criminal Justice Services so they can receive extra help with new partnerships between government and community groups to fight gun violence.