For Immediate Release: August 3, 2009
Contact: Marissa Shorenstein | marissa.shorenstein@chamber.state.ny.us | 518.474.8418 | 212.681.4640
DCJS Contact: John Caher | john.caher@dcjs.ny.gov | 518.457.8828

GOVERNOR PATERSON ANNOUNCES OPERATION IMPACT GRANTS FOR UPSTATE NEW YORK AND LONG ISLAND

More Than $15 Million in Funds Distributed to 17 New York Counties
Crime Down 7 Percent in IMPACT Counties in 2009

Governor David A. Paterson today announced Operation IMPACT funding for Long Island and upstate New York counties. IMPACT counties will receive a total of $15.1 million in crime-fighting grants. Approximately 80 percent of the State’s crime outside of New York City takes place in the 17 counties receiving funding from the program.

“Despite our fiscal crisis, we will not jeopardize the safety of our communities or permit the State to back-track from the tremendous progress we have made in fighting crime in the last 20 years. Furthermore, public safety and economic revitalization go hand-in-hand; our communities must be safe places to live, work, raise our families and run our businesses to ensure New York has a healthy climate for economic recovery,” said Governor Paterson. “New York is the safest large state in the country as the overall crime rate has fallen for more than 15 consecutive years. These IMPACT grants are a big part of that success.”

Senate President Malcolm A. Smith said: “The grant money from Operation IMPACT allows communities and law enforcement agencies to partner together to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers. This funding is a great complement to the Senate's anti-violence initiative, Operation SNUG, and I commend and thank Governor Paterson and Deputy Secretary Denise O’Donnell for securing these vital funds.”

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said: “Coordinated police efforts to reduce violent crime have and will continue to be an important component of revitalizing New York’s upstate urban communities. Since its inception five years ago, Operation IMPACT has provided a vital framework for local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to carry out important police operations. Because of this coordination, thousands of guns have been recovered from streets in cities including Buffalo, Rochester, Utica, Albany, Poughkeepsie and communities on Long Island. The grants announced today will continue our mission of making our cities safer to live and thrive in. My thanks to Governor Paterson and Deputy Secretary O’Donnell for their advocacy in preventing violent crime.”

The following counties participate in and will receive funding from Operation IMPACT in 2009: Albany ($1,001,765), Broome ($426,121), Chautauqua ($264,161), Dutchess ($407,130), Erie ($1,810,940), Monroe ($1,847,719), Nassau ($1,308,763), Niagara ($639,240), Oneida ($446,350), Onondaga ($1,187,268), Orange ($863,719), Rensselaer ($541,735), Rockland ($348,684), Schenectady ($770,121), Suffolk ($1,374,630), Ulster ($314,119) and Westchester ($1,595,291).

Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Denise O’Donnell said: “Operation IMPACT is the centerpiece of our public safety plan for upstate and Long Island, and I applaud Governor Paterson’s commitment to the intelligence-based, comprehensive crime-fighting strategy that is at the core of Operation IMPACT. Crime fighting is most effective when all stakeholders – district attorneys’ offices, police and probation departments and our other law enforcement partners, as well as community organizations – work together. That is the goal, mission and result of Operation IMPACT.”

The most recent statistics from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) show that for the first five months of 2009 (January through May), reported crime in the 17 IMPACT jurisdictions is down 7 percent. Additionally:

  • Overall violent crime is down 1 percent.
  • Property crime is down 7.5 percent, with decreases in burglary (-9 percent), larceny (-6 percent) and motor vehicle theft (-15 percent).
  • Robberies are down 4 percent.
  • Aggravated assaults are up 1 percent.
  • While murder has increased 20 percent, this increase reflects the April 3 tragedy in Binghamton, in which 13 people were killed. Without that incident, the murder rate for the first five months of 2009 would be virtually identical to the rate for 2008.

Operation IMPACT – an initiative of DCJS – supports strategic crime-fighting and violence reduction initiatives by providing funding for crime analysts and prosecutors, equipment such as surveillance cameras and special operations such as undercover actions. Grants are awarded competitively, with priority given to those jurisdictions with the highest volume of crime. Each expenditure must bear a direct relationship to the overarching goal of reducing violent crime, and DCJS continually monitors the effectiveness of the program through monthly crime trend meetings with the IMPACT partners. As a result of IMPACT and the partnerships that have developed, the Paterson administration has opened state-of-the-art Crime Analysis Centers (CAC) in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse and is in the process of opening a CAC in Albany. The CACs provide law enforcement with a centrally located unit responsible for conducting in-depth analysis of all county crime data.

The following statements were provided in support of Operation IMPACT:

Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi said: “I am pleased to hear that Nassau County, through the County Police Department, Village and City Police Departments and the District Attorney's Office, will be receiving $1.3 million in IMPACT funding for 2009. Since last year, this funding has been used to suppress gang violence and get hundreds of illegal guns off the street. We have been able to purchase new heat sensored technology that will help us continue our mission to find guns fired at or near crime scenes. In addition, this year, we will be enhancing our domestic violence initiatives by working with our courts and District Attorney in deploying up to 50 monitoring bracelets for dangerous domestic violence offenders. I thank Governor Paterson for pushing this important public safety initiative through the difficult budget process and helping us remain the safest county of our size in the nation.”

Westchester County Executive Andy Spano said: “Westchester County has been able to use these funds to target high crime areas and it has been very successful in reducing the crime rate in these areas. We are grateful to the Governor and the State of New York for continuing to support the IMPACT program, which has helped us to take a pro-active approach to keeping Westchester residents safe.”

Broome County Executive Barbara Fiala said: “Operation IMPACT funds have assisted local police agencies with their efforts to improve neighborhoods prone to criminal activity. This State funding has made a positive local impact to better public safety and provide new resources for police to implement.”

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. said: “We are very pleased that Governor Paterson has decided to continue the Operation IMPACT funding despite the State’s economic situation. Maintaining safe communities is not only important for our residents, but is imperative for any future growth. Oneida County is please to be a part of this grant and we look forward to using it to help make a difference.”

Rochester Mayor Robert J. Duffy said: “Operation IMPACT has a proven record of success in Rochester and across the State because it attacks crime at its very core, through education, intervention, enforcement and prosecution. I am pleased to see that, despite this very challenging economic environment, Governor Paterson recognizes the value of this program and has found the means to continue funding it. This money will help build on the gains we have made toward improving public safety and saving lives in Rochester.”

Binghamton Mayor Matthew T. Ryan said: “Even in these difficult economic times, we must maintain public safety and Operation IMPACT is crucial to our efforts. In recent years, this program has been integral to advancing our intelligence-based policing strategy, which along with our other initiatives has made Binghamton one of the safest communities in upstate New York. In fact, only by continuing to protect our community will we strengthen our economy, and I thank Governor Paterson for his foresight and leadership in moving our State forward.”

Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown said: “Having reduced crime overall by 7% since 2006, fighting crime remains a top priority of my administration. Operation IMPACT funding will further assist the Buffalo Police Department in its continuing effort to reduce crime and improve our residents’ quality of life. I would like to thank Governor Paterson for his continued commitment to this important program.”

Syracuse Mayor Matthew Driscoll said: “Operation IMPACT has proved to be an effective part of our overall strategy in Syracuse to combat street crime. I applaud the Governor for renewing the State's support for a program that clearly generates results.”

Monroe County District Attorney Mike Green said: “We would like to thank Governor Paterson for his continued commitment to IMPACT. Operation IMPACT is one of the key tools available to law enforcement in Monroe County to combat and prevent violent crime. With the assistance provided by the Governor, we look forward to working with the Monroe Crime Analysis Center and our law enforcement and community partners to make and keep Monroe County and New York State safe places to live, work and raise our families.”

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said: “Operation IMPACT funding has been extremely beneficial to law enforcement throughout Westchester County. Although the current economic situation makes the judicious use of this year’s grant even more important, the nearly one point six million dollars in funding will allow us to build upon our success. The funding is particularly effective in the County’s most populous cities and towns, as evidenced by the most recent statistics from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, which show that for the first five months of 2009, reported crime in the IMPACT jurisdictions is down 7 percent.”

Schenectady County District Attorney Robert M. Carney said: “Given the many demands on the State treasury, I am grateful to the Governor for recognizing that the crime problems of counties with urban centers cannot be adequately addressed without State resources. These monies will allow my office to continue tough gun prosecution policies and to work with our partners in law enforcement to fully investigate the problems caused by gang activity and to prosecute those responsible.”

Broome County Sheriff David Harder said: “Operation IMPACT has given us the funding resources to fight crime in upstate New York, which has been very successful.”

Buffalo Police Department Commissioner of Police H. McCarthy Gipson said: “The Buffalo Police Department would like to express our sincere thanks to Governor Paterson for the continued IMPACT grant funding. The IMPACT program is vitally important to local law enforcement agencies. Through IMPACT we can access technical assistance programs, conduct proactive enforcement strategies like joint patrols with the New York State Police and our first ring suburban communities, and engage in more community outreach programs in our efforts to prevent criminal activity. IMPACT has provided funding for these and many other policing efforts that would not have been possible without the IMPACT program.”

Hempstead Police Chief Joseph B. Wing said: “The IMPACT grants are particularly important to the Village of Hempstead and its residents. Hempstead has been particularly hard hit with the recent economic downturn and we are very grateful that Governor Paterson and the Legislature have funded this valuable program. Operation IMPACT funds a crime analyst, allows us purchase surveillance cameras which we use to monitor crime hot spots and, most importantly, it allows us to establish partnerships with other agencies in our joint effort to reduce crime, especially gun-related and gang-related crime.”

John R. Chella, Superintendent of the Niagara Falls Police Department, said: “This IMPACT award is very good news for the Niagara Falls Police Department. What this will allow us to do is better accomplish Governor Paterson’s goal of safe neighborhoods for the residents of New York State. We do have our challenges here in Niagara Falls, and this funding will allow us to better concentrate on the crime reduction programs of DCJS and build a stronger bond between the Niagara Falls Police Department and the residents. I am grateful to Governor Paterson, Deputy Secretary Denise O’Donnell, and her staff for the continued support they have given Niagara Falls.”

Poughkeepsie Police Chief Ronald Knapp said: “As Chief of Police for the City of Poughkeepsie, I am very pleased that Governor Paterson has continued to support this very worthy program. Operation IMPACT has allowed us to work with local, state and federal partners to fight crime as a single team. It has supplied much needed funding for operations and equipment. It has allowed us to remain focused on the problems facing our communities and work on mutually agreed upon solutions. In these tough economic times we must remain committed to making our communities safer.”

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