Division of Criminal Justice Services

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Contact: John Caher, Press Office
(518) 457-8415 or cell: (518) 225-5240
For immediate release: Wednesday, July 30, 2008

State invests in Orange County crime-fighting efforts
New York State awards $918,401 in Operation IMPACT funding to crime-fighting partners


NEWBURGH – Stating that a cornerstone of government is the protection of its citizens, Denise E. O’Donnell, commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), today announced that the state will continue to support grants to benefit strategic crime-fighting initiatives in Orange County.

“The safety of our communities is essential for the protection of residents and visitors, and for the revitalization of the economy,” Commissioner O’Donnell said. “Even in these very difficult fiscal times, Governor Paterson and I are committed to doing all that we can to ensure that our neighborhoods are safe places to live, work and raise a family.”

Commissioner O’Donnell said that DCJS has awarded $918,401 to the Orange County crime fighters through Operation IMPACT, the state’s program to tackle violent and gun crime through intelligence-based policing, partnerships among law enforcement and community organizations and timely use of accurate crime data. Operation IMPACT brings together 80 different law enforcement agencies in the state and targets the 17 counties Upstate and on Long Island that report 80 percent of crime outside of New York City.

The following agencies in Orange County will share the IMPACT award: City of Newburgh Police Department ($375,624); Orange County District Attorney ($110,900); Town of Newburgh Police Department ($130,618); Town of New Windsor Police Department ($134,886); the Orange County Sheriff’s Office ($106,937) and the Orange County Probation Department ($59,436).

Other Orange County IMPACT partners include the: New York State Police; New York State Division of Parole; U.S. Attorney’s Office; U.S. Marshals; and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

“Operation IMPACT rises from a foundation built on collaboration, intelligence-based policing, deployment of technology and timely use of accurate crime data and technology,” Commissioner O’Donnell said. “Our partners in Orange County have embraced this model, with impressive results.”

Commissioner O’Donnell noted that so far this year, overall crime in Newburgh is down 18 percent, with a 6 percent reduction in violent crime and a 22 percent drop in property crime. In Orange County, crime is up slightly (1.6 percent) and violent crime is down 9 percent. However, burglaries in the county have increased nearly 11 percent (to 463 from 418).

The Orange County IMPACT strategy for this year focuses on the east side of the City of Newburgh and will target both chronic offenders and violent juveniles. IMPACT funds will be used to reinstate the Newburgh Police Department’s Neighborhood Stabilization Team and to develop a web-based Citizen Notification System to educate and involve the community.

“Governor Paterson continues to believe that the most effective policing occurs when strategic partnerships are fostered between the state and local governments,” Commissioner O’Donnell said. “Operation IMPACT represents the essence of this partnership and provides the necessary resources to target crime hotspots.”
IMPACT grants fund personnel, including crime analysts, assistant district attorneys, field intelligence officers, probation officers and investigators. The grants also support technology, such as mobile surveillance cameras, crime mapping software, digital fingerprinting equipment and laptop computers.

In addition to providing IMPACT partners with grant funds, DCJS also has a technical assistance team that provides on-site training, guidance and assistance in developing effective crime-reduction strategies that address each jurisdiction’s unique needs and trends.

DCJS continually monitors the effectiveness of the program through monthly crime trend meetings with its 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.

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services is a multi-function criminal justice support agency with a variety of responsibilities, including collection and analysis of statewide crime data; operation of the DNA databank and criminal fingerprint files; administration of federal and state criminal justice funds; support of criminal justice-related agencies across the state; and administration of the state’s Sex Offender Registry and a toll-free telephone number (1-800-262-3257) that allows anyone to research the status of an offender.