Cops meet in Saratoga Springs to talk reducing gun violence

December 14, 2017 06:17 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - We're seeing fewer shootings these days.

The state Division of Criminal Justice Services says gun violence is down across New York.

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"Statewide, we're on pace to have the lowest number of homicides we've ever had since we started keeping track in 1975," said Michael Green, executive deputy commissioner of criminal justice services.

Green says some of the credit goes to the work taking place here in a ballroom of the Gideon Putnam resort.

Law enforcement leaders from around the state, gather here each year to share best practices for reducing gun violence.

It's called GIVE, Gun Involved Violence Elimination.

The state says the GIVE program is working.

And it's accomplished through proactive police work.

Police departments analyze data and figure out who is likely to have illegal guns and be involved in gun violence and they routinely and regularly reach out to them.

"We'll bring in groups of people that we know are engaged in violence and we'll ask the group members to talk to other members as peers to tell them to put the guns down and stop the violence," said Schenectady Police Chief Eric Clifford.

"You get the message to them that we're serious about it.There are reasons that we care so deeply about gun violence and murder that it tears the community apart," said Robert Carney, Schenectady County District Attorney.

In the city of Schenectady, where gun violence is down 30% in five years, they've dedicated two detectives to work exclusively on getting to the guns and the bad guys before they do the harm.

"It's a lot better to stop the violence from occurring rather than arrest the person and put them in jail after the violence," Clifford said.


Mark Mulholland

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