ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Officials from the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services were in Albany Monday with mayors of 3 local cities to discuss gun violence. Press were not allowed to sit-in on the roundtable discussion at the Blake Annex, but officials were available for questions at the conclusion of the meeting.

“Before COVID-19, we had reached record lows in firearm-related homicides, shooting incidents, and shooting victims within our partner cities,” said Joe Popcun, Executive Deputy Commissioner of DCJS. “Today’s biggest question is ‘how do we make that positive change once again?'”

Popcun called Governor Kathy Hochul’s 2023 fiscal year budget a “game changer” for its $227 million investment in gun violence prevention programs.

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said gun violence in his city is down. According to police, so far this year, there has been 1 firearm related homicide, 3 shootings with victims, and 28 instances of confirmed shots fired in the city. McCarthy said the three major Capital Region cities connect on these issues.

“A lot of the activities, and those individuals that make poor choices in one of our communities, influence the activities in another community,” McCarthy explained.

“I’m not sure that anything new was unearthed in those conversations today, but we shared those understandings with the state, which is critically important because the state brings important resources to bear,” said Troy Mayor Patrick Madden.

In Albany, more guns have been recovered in 2022, year-to-date, than were in 2021. However, shots fired incidents have been more prevalent so far.

“There’s no one approach to dealing with community violence,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, “and in fact, law enforcement is only one piece of what needs to be a broader investment in communities that have been disinvested for decades and decades, and quite frankly centuries.”

This was the eighth and final stop in a first round of discussions across the state.

Additional discussions will continue throughout the summer with additional stakeholders, according to an official from DCJS.