News from New York State Office of the Governor
For more information contact:
Morgan Hook, 518-474-8418/212-681-4640;
DCJS Contact: John Caher: 518-225-5240/518-457-8415

Governor Paterson Announces Operation Impact Grants for Upstate New York and Long Island

ALBANY, NY (07/20/2010)(readMedia) Governor David A. Paterson today announced that Operation IMPACT crime-fighting grants totaling $13.5 million will be awarded to the upstate and Long Island counties that report 80 percent of the crime outside of the City of New York. The grants will be used to support 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 details and warrant sweeps.

"Operation IMPACT is a crucial program that has made our communities safer by supporting strategic crime-fighting initiatives," Governor Paterson said. "As I have consistently said, public safety and economic revitalization go hand-in-hand. We must, as a State, do our part to assist our local law enforcement partners in ensuring that our communities are safe places to live, work and raise our families. These Operation IMPACT grants provide much-needed resources to help further that goal."

The following counties participate in and will receive funding from Operation IMPACT in 2010-11: Albany ($919,059), Broome ($394,231), Chautauqua ($237,702), Dutchess ($377,724), Erie ($1,611,466), Monroe ($1,680,460), Nassau ($1,108,008), Niagara ($588,408), Oneida ($397,834), Onondaga ($1,099,755), Orange ($773,069), Rensselaer ($491,408), Rockland ($289,681), Schenectady ($732,880), Suffolk ($1,228,794), Ulster ($275,331) and Westchester ($1,349,375).

Statistics show that after declining 2.4 percent in 2009, "index" crimes (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft) in the primary IMPACT jurisdictions are up about 2.5 percent for the first five months of 2010, driven almost entirely by an increase in property crimes. Murders, rapes and robberies are all down, but burglaries and larcenies are up, both in the IMPACT jurisdictions and other regions of the State. Governor Paterson noted that in addition to the IMPACT funding, this fall DCJS will be distributing targeted grants to jurisdictions struggling with a spike in burglaries, enabling local authorities to obtain DNA evidence from the site of every burglary.
DCJS Commissioner Sean M. Byrne said: "I commend Governor Paterson for ensuring that these critical funds will be available even in these difficult fiscal times. Additionally, later this month Governor Paterson will launch an expanded BIOTRACKS initiative where IMPACT dollars are used to fund the deployment of evidence technicians to burglary scenes to collect DNA samples. Burglars are serial criminals, and solving one will frequently solve several and prevent many more. I can say with confidence that collecting DNA at burglary crime scenes will prevent a great deal more burglaries, and as well as homicides and sex crimes."

Grants were 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 the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) continually monitors the effectiveness of the program through monthly crime trend meetings with the IMPACT partners. The total amount available for Operation IMPACT this year, $13.5 million, is approximately 10.5 percent less than the $15.1 million available last year – a reflection of the State's fiscal crisis.

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The following statements were provided in support of Operation IMPACT:

Ronald Knapp, City of Poughkeepsie Police Chief, said: "Operation IMPACT is an important component to our community's response to violent crime. Every month, the Dutchess County IMPACT team meets and discusses operations, strategies and other issues. In addition, our Field Intelligence Officers meet on a weekly basis to share case info and crime information. I cannot imagine what we would be facing without the support and funding of this vital New York State initiative. This aid is especially critical in these tough economic times when we are all struggling with tight budgets."

David Moore, City of Rochester Police Chief, said: "This IMPACT funding has proved to be an integral part of our agency crime strategy. Absent the financial support of DCJS, the Rochester Police Department could not maintain a level of staffing and acquisition of needed equipment in a time of budgetary challenges. Our partnership with DCJS, as seen in this initiative, exemplifies coordination and cooperation in government at all levels to address the needs of public safety, with a legacy of countless success stories that have benefited the quality of life for our city residents."

Michael D. Ferrara, City of Newburgh Acting Police Chief, said: "Operation IMPACT allows the City of Newburgh Police Department to continue vital crime fighting efforts. Operation IMPACT has allowed the Department to move past simply reacting to crime, and to move towards proactive enforcement efforts, field intelligence and crime analysis -- all of which are critical to maintaining public safety and reducing crime."
John D. Fowle, Acting Director of the Nassau County Probation Department, said: "In the last six months, Nassau Probation has recovered four loaded handguns during Nightwatch operations. These are dramatic examples of the power of collaborative law enforcement, for which Nassau County continues to set the standard."

David A. Tomidy, Director of the Oneida County Probation Department, said: "The funds and technological support provided by DCJS has enabled law enforcement agencies to collaborate in strategies and create projects that would otherwise never have come to fruition. The results are increased community safety, improved interdepartmental communications and partnerships and heightened morale. Arrests are more rapid, warrants are more often executed and quicker, and crimes are solved. Our community is definitely a safer place because of Operation IMPACT and our Law Enforcement Community is a more effective and collaborative entity than ever before."

Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey: "The Nassau County Police Department will utilize IMPACT funds to enhance proven community supported initiatives that have helped reduce violent crime in our area.  DCJS has been a critical partner in our successful efforts to reduce violent crime. Whether through funding for purchase of surveillance equipment used to thwart drug traffickers, or the underwriting of programs such as our ‘Police Youth Academy,’ designed to give at-risk young people positive insights in to the role of the police in their communities, IMPACT monies have proven their value to our County."

Richard J. McNally, Jr., District Attorney, Rensselaer County: “Operation IMPACT is smart resource allocation.  The continued support of this County’s IMPACT strategy, targeting chronic offenders, gun crime and domestic violence, is vital.  Our county has seen measurable results.”

Albany Police Chief Steve Krokoff: “Operation IMPACT has been integral to all of the Albany Police Department’s efforts to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in the City of Albany.  The resources, both financial and personnel,  provided by Operation IMPACT have helped drive down violent crime in the city each year since the inception of the program.”

John R. Chella, Superintendent of Police, Niagara Falls Police Department: “Operation IMPACT is a law enforcement executive's best tool at preventing and reducing crime.  In Niagara Falls, we certainly have our challenges in attaining those goals, but with funds supplied by Operation IMPACT, the Niagara Falls Police Department is able to conduct projects that would not be allowable under city budgeted monies.  I would like to thank Governor Paterson and DCJS Acting Commissioner Sean M. Byrne for their generous appropriation of IMPACT funding, and for having  the confidence that the Niagara Partnership will make the streets safer for the residents and visitors of Niagara Falls.”

Orange County Sheriff Carl E. DuBois: “The Orange County Sheriff's Office will use the IMPACT funding to offset overtime costs incurred by assisting our IMPACT partners with such operations as Joint Patrols with the City of Newburgh Police Department, Joint Operations with the Orange County Probation Department and Joint Warrant Sweep Operations with agencies such as the Newburgh Police Department, the New York State Police Violent Felony Warrant Squad, Immigrations & Customs Enforcement and New York State Parole.  We have found that this type of collaboration along with these types of sustained operations have had a positive effect on the crime fighting strategies that have been engaged through the Operation IMPACT program.”

Troy Police Chief John Tedesco: “In my 34 years of law enforcement service, Operation IMPACT has been the most effective catalyst for enhancing interagency cooperation that I have witnessed. The growth of personal relationships and sharing of resources has served to unify the mission of law enforcement agencies on all levels.”

Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen M. Jimino: “Since the inception of Operation IMPACT in 2005, Rensselaer County has seen a tremendous benefit to the public’s safety through the collaboration between our local law enforcement agencies, including police departments, the Sheriff’s Department, Probation, and Parole, to share intelligence and expertise in order to reduce crime. Rensselaer County is pleased to again be the recipient of state funding through Operation IMPACT in order to continue this important work with other law enforcement agencies and continue to provide the safety and quality of life our residents have come to expect.”

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