Contact: John Caher, Press Office
(518) 457-8415
john.caher@dcjs.ny.gov
www.criminaljustice.ny.gov
For immediate release: Tuesday, July 17, 2007

CRIME-FIGHTING INITIATIVE EXPANDED
Operation IMPACT Counties to Receive $17 million

ALBANY -- Governor Eliot Spitzer and Commissioner Denise E. O’Donnell of the Division of Criminal Justice Services today announced an increase of about 14 percent in funding for Operation IMPACT, a highly successful crime-fighting initiative targeting the 17 counties reporting more than 80 percent of the crime outside New York City. The goal of the program is to reduce violent crime, with an emphasis on gun-related crime, through intelligence-driven enforcement strategies.

“While crime is down in nearly every large jurisdiction, we must and we will do more to further reduce violent and property crime,” Governor Spitzer said. “These additional resources will enable our law enforcement partners upstate and on Long Island to continue developing and implementing collaborative crime-reduction strategies in crime ‘hot spots’ throughout New York State.”

Over the last decade, index crime (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft) declined 42 percent in New York City while the counties outside of New York City experienced a decline of 23 percent. Additionally, crimes involving a firearm reached a 10-year high in counties outside New York City last year, according to the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS).

The governor, in his executive budget, increased IMPACT funding from $14.9 million to $17 million. Commissioner O’Donnell today announced the distribution of those funds, which she said would help “build active local partnerships, incorporating the use of timely and accurate crime data and analysis, and enhance the use of intelligence in the development of crime-reduction strategies.”

Operation IMPACT (Integrated Municipal Police Anti-Crime Teams) is New York State’s comprehensive crime fighting program designed to achieve sustained, long term crime reduction across the state. Since the program began in 2004, much progress has been made in developing and implementing collaborative crime reduction strategies targeting specific violent crimes.

The most recent statistics from DCJS show that for the first five months of this year (January through May):

  • Reported crime in the 17 IMPACT jurisdictions is down 5 percent
  • Violent crime is down 13 percent.
  • Robberies are down 18.6 percent and assaults are down 10 percent. 
  • Property crime is down 4 percent, with decreases in burglary (-6 percent), larceny (-2 percent) and motor vehicle theft (-13 percent).
  • Violent crimes involving a firearm are down 22 percent.
  • Firearm related robberies are down 30 percent and firearm related assaults are down 11 percent.

So far this year, violent crime is down in nearly every large jurisdiction, including Buffalo (- 24 percent), Rochester (-10 percent), Syracuse (-15 percent), Schenectady (-18 percent), Albany (-6 percent), Nassau (-11 percent) and Suffolk (-9 percent). However, while the 17 IMPACT sites reported 258 shooting incidents for the first five months of this year, compared to 321 last year (a decrease of 20 percent), those incidents resulted in 58 deaths – an increase from the 43 reported during the same period of 2006.

IMPACT grants are awarded competitively, with priority given to those jurisdictions with the highest volume of crime. Commissioner O’Donnell said DCJS received requests for over $40 million in IMPACT funding during this cycle.

“The process for determining award amounts was extremely difficult,” Commissioner O’Donnell said. “However, I am confident that the final award amounts are fair and will provide each partnership with the resources and ability to do great work in the coming year.”

IMPACT funding has supported local initiatives in a variety of ways through positions, equipment, and enhancements to technology.  In the past, the funds have been used to provide IMPACT sites with field intelligence officers and crime analysts, license plate readers, mobile and stationary camera systems, surveillance equipment, crime mapping software and digital fingerprinting equipment.

IMPACT monies for the contract year July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008 will be used for a wide-variety of purposes -- from funding prosecutor, police and crime analyst positions to purchasing equipment such as mobile surveillance cameras – but in each instance the expenditure must bear a direct relationship to the overarching goal of reducing violent crime.

DCJS continually monitors the effectiveness of the program through monthly crime trend meetings with the IMPACT partners. These meetings provide each IMPACT site with an opportunity to present an ongoing overview of their strategy and how it relates to the crime problem in their jurisdiction as determined by their analysis.  The crime trends meetings also provides a forum for the local IMPACT partners to discuss obstacles that they are encountering and to identify any additional needs that they have that will assist them in reducing crime, Commissioner O’Donnell said.

List of IMPACT Counties and Funding Awards

County

2007 Funding

Albany

$1,282,388

Broome

$490,185

Chautauqua

$293,751

Dutchess

$523,407

Erie

$1,980,333

Monroe

$2,029,861

Nassau

$1,539,628

Niagara

$638,711

Oneida

$352,323

Onondaga

$1,183,189

Orange

$815,452

Rensselaer

$583,370

Rockland

$461,152

Schenectady

$865,854

Suffolk

$1,612,951

Ulster

$388,197

Westchester

$1,959,248

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