Division of Criminal Justice Services

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Janine Kava or Walt McClure, Press Office
NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services
janine.kava@dcjs.ny.gov or walter.mcclure@dcjs.ny.gov

For immediate release: Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014            

DCJS sponsors training in use of environmental design to reduce crime for Capital Region, Hudson Valley and Mohawk Valley police agencies participating in the state’s GIVE initiative

Training in Albany is first of several technical assistance workshops being offered at no cost to agencies that are part of the Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) initiative

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services this week is sponsoring the first of four technical assistance trainings for agencies that participate in the state’s Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) initiative, with the training focusing on how the design of buildings and public spaces can contribute to crime reduction and improve quality of life.

More than 30 law enforcement professionals from five of the 17 GIVE counties – Albany, Oneida, Orange, Rensselaer and Schenectady – are attending the three-day Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) training in Albany. The training, which began yesterday and concludes tomorrow, is presented by the National Crime Prevention Council, a national, non-profit organization that specializes in crime prevention education.

Providing free technical assistance on evidence based strategies proven effective in combating shootings and homicides to agencies that participate in GIVE is a new component to the initiative, and part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s effort to provide additional support and resources to local law enforcement.  GIVE targets communities served by 20 law enforcement agencies that collectively report 86 percent of the violent crime in the state outside of New York City. GIVE evolved from Operation IMPACT and provides those agencies and others in 17 counties with $13.2 million in grants to reduce shootings and firearm-related homicides.

“Part of the evolution from Operation IMPACT to GIVE is focusing on crime fighting strategies proven effective in reducing shootings and homicides.  We are working to give law enforcement agencies access to the best tools available as they work to keep our streets safe,” DCJS Executive Deputy Commissioner Michael C. Green said. “Those tools include providing technical assistance like CPTED that will allow communities to tailor strategies to meet their individual needs.”

Representatives from the following agencies are attending the training in Albany: police departments in Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Middletown, Newburgh and Utica; the Albany Department of Buildings and Regulatory Compliance; the Orange County Sheriff’s Office; and district attorneys’ offices in Albany and Oneida counties.

Albany Police Chief Steven Krokoff said, “Training like this allows police departments and community members to work together on a problem-solving approach toward reducing criminal opportunity. Working collaboratively with our community partners, we can improve certain human-made environmental conditions, such as lighting and streetscape, to dissuade criminal activity. I thank the governor, DCJS and Commissioner Green for this commitment to public safety and providing this vital training.  As the City of Albany continues to move forward with its community policing philosophy, CPTED will play a major role in reducing crime and the fear of crime while also enhancing quality of life in our neighborhoods.”

Added Assistant Schenectady Police Chief Jack Falvo, who oversees the agency’s Field Services Bureau, “Whenever we can educate our officers on basic crime prevention principles, it brings us closer to the community. When our officers respond to a call for service and are able to relay solid crime prevention techniques to a victim, or to someone before they become a victim, it goes a long way toward preventing future problems and is a win for us as a department and for the community as a whole.”

Agencies in the 12 other GIVE counties – Broome, Chautauqua, Dutchess, Erie, Monroe, Nassau, Niagara, Onondaga, Rockland, Suffolk, Ulster and Westchester – will receive CPTED training in the coming months. All GIVE agencies also will receive technical assistance in hot-spot policing and the use of focused deterrence against violent gangs and groups. Those trainings are being scheduled and also will be held around the state.

CPTED operates around four principles to enhance crime prevention strategies. Those principles are natural access control, natural surveillance, territorial reinforcement and maintenance. The primary goal of the CPTED training is to provide law enforcement, individuals and organizations that are involved in community crime prevention programs with information needed to create their own initiatives to prevent crime through environmental design. 

Those attending the training will learn about assessing conditions in a neighborhood and apply practical access control (doors, fences), surveillance (lighting, windows, landscaping), territorial reinforcement (signs, sidewalks, ordinances) and maintenance (code enforcement, community cleanups) to improve homes, neighborhoods and communities. The training also gives officers the opportunity to do a safety assessment of a nearby neighborhood and evaluate how CPTED principles could be used.

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (www.criminaljustice.ny.gov) is a multi-function criminal justice support agency with a variety of responsibilities, including law enforcement training; collection and analysis of statewide crime data; maintenance of criminal history information and fingerprint files; administrative oversight of the state’s DNA databank, in partnership with the New York State Police; funding and oversight of probation and community correction programs; 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.