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MANAGEMENT UPDATE.

PROMISING RESULTS FROM NEW YORK’S FOCUS ON GUN VIOLENCE

Skim through a Google Search of the words “violent crime,” and it would appear that we’re all living in the Wild West with armed desperados hiding behind every corner. But here’s some resounding good news on this front from New York State.


In mid-May, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a 35% reduction in shootings and 37% decrease in gun-related deaths between 2021 and 2023. Data from the first four months of 2024 also show a 35% drop compared to the average number of shooting victims over the past five years.


Although 2021 was a particularly troublesome year for gun violence, both nationally and in New York, the size of the drop provides an encouraging sign that New York’s gun violence initiatives are having a visible impact.  


New York’s attack on gun violence have been bolstered by $347 million in funding and the shared knowledge and information from the New York-led Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns. An important goal has been to combat the infiltration of illegal guns into the state.  Since early 2022, state police have seized over 3,300 illegal guns – higher than the total for the five previous years, with New York State Police Superintendent Steven James saying that a top priority continues to entail “disrupting the flow of illegal guns” and locating and mitigating “their source of supply.”


Among the approaches to reducing gun violence, which can be emulated elsewhere:


  • The Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) initiative targets training and technical assistance to 21 counties outside of New York City, with state funding also providing “personnel, overtime, technology and equipment”.  State attention has been focused not just on local police and sheriff’s departments, but also on district attorney’s offices and probation departments.

  • Outreach to communities, social workers and case managers to “disrupt the cycle of violence” in selected communities, as well as bolstering prevention efforts in New York City 

  • A state-supported network of Crime Analysis Centers offers “intelligence and investigative assistance to more than 350 law enforcement agencies.”

  • New York’s Strengthened Red Flag law, “allows for the removal of guns from individuals deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.”


The New York State announcement also provides a table drawn from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics January 2024  Mortality Dashboard. The table shows New York’s homicide death rate is substantially lower than the US average (4.3 per 100,000 individuals compared to 7.6 per 100,00) and lower than the other states that have populations of more than 10 million.


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