Saturday, October 20, 2018

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Newburgh shootings down dramatically

NEWBURGH – The City of Newburgh has experienced a dramatic reduction in the number of shooting incidents that resulted in someone being injured by gunfire.

In 2015, the city experienced 55 incidents where someone was hit by gunfire. That dropped to 48 in 2016 and 17 in 2017. So far this year, only three people have been shot in Newburgh. If the number holds, it will represent a nearly 95 percent decrease in shootings in three years.

Authorities attribute the decline to the collaboration between law enforcement agencies on the local, county, state and federal levels.

Two specific initiatives of that law enforcement partnership have been credited for much of the reduction in violence.

Since 2015, the GIVE initiative – the Group Violence Intervention strategy – has targeted and removed from the community some of the most violent offenders in the city while at the same time impressing on potential offenders the community’s outrage at the violence and offering assistance to offenders who wish to leave their violent lifestyle behind in favor of trying to become law-abiding members of the community.

Since 2017, the state Division of Criminal Just Services has provided some $650,000 to the city for a Non-Fatal Shooting Initiative, which supports, among other things, a district attorney investigator, a city police detective, and a crime analyst to develop evidence on shooting cases where the victim refuses to cooperate with police in solving the case.

The district attorney’s office has also dedicated a senior assistant DA to violence-reduction efforts in Newburgh.

“We are witnessing a historic change in the culture of violence in the City of Newburgh, reductions in shootings that can only benefit the city for the foreseeable future,” said DA David Hoovler.

Through the implementation of the programs, “we have been able to reinvent our tactics when it comes to combating gun violence in the City of Newburgh,” said Police Chief Douglas Solomon. “With these successes we believe we have turned a corner here in Newburgh and the worst is behind us.”

The chief said authorities can now focus more attention “on building relationships with our young people here in the city through programs like the Youth Police Initiative.

“When it comes to gun violence, there is absolutely zero tolerance here in Newburgh,” Solomon said.

 


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