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Press Release

Syracuse Receives Second Round Of Federal Funding For Gun Violence Reduction

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
$300,000 For Continued Law Enforcement and Community Based Programs

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – For the second time Syracuse has received a Project Safe Neighborhoods federal grant of nearly $300,000.00 for the continued support of gun violence reduction efforts. A similar grant was received in 2013. The grant funds a coalition of law enforcement agencies and community groups which combine their resources to reduce gun related violence in the City of Syracuse, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian.

"We are firmly committed to continuing this multi-agency and interdisciplinary effort to reduce death and injury from gun violence in Syracuse. There is no higher priority than combining resources to save the lives of our young people. The second round of funding provided by this grant will allow us to further expand and enhance these vital public safety and community support programs," said U.S. Attorney Hartunian.

"We appreciate the continued support of our partners in "Syracuse Truce." Since 2013 the collaboration between law enforcement and community services have proved to be an effective tool in combating gun and gang violence in city of Syracuse, while allowing a more positive relationship between the police and the community. We look forward to this relationship continuing,"said Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler

This latest funding for Syracuse also follows a 2013 federal grant of 1.5 million dollars to support the U.S. Department of Justice’s Comprehensive Gang Model, a program in place in other cities troubled by gang and gun violence.

United States Attorney Hartunian expressed his appreciation to the Syracuse Truce Executive Committee, the Executive Director for the Syracuse Salvation Army, Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facilities, the Mayor’s Office, the Syracuse Police Department, the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office, The John F. Finn Institute of Public Safety and the Rosamond Gifford Foundation for their efforts in again obtaining this grant, and for their ongoing work combating gun and gang violence.

Under the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, the grant will provide $300,000 to fund "Syracuse Truce," an innovative collaboration between law enforcement and community service agencies to reduce gun crime and gang violence and diminish tension between law enforcement and the community. Starting in the fall of 2014, Syracuse Truce was implemented with the assistance of the Rosamond Gifford Foundation. Since 2001, the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods Program has sought to reduce gun and gang crime in America by forming partnerships to enhance local programs and provide them with additional tools necessary to be successful. In Syracuse, the partnership of law enforcement agencies and community leaders has included establishment of a gang violence task force, collaboration of federal and local officials to review and prepare gun cases for prosecution in the most appropriate forum, federal prosecution of members of 8 gangs in Syracuse since 2003, and education and prevention efforts.

Syracuse Truce involves "focused deterrence" by integrating the community message that gun and gang violence will not be tolerated with offers of assistance to reduce criminal activity. Beginning in August 2015, two new initiatives, Syracuse Save our Youth, which focuses its efforts on neighborhoods in the south side of the City of Syracuse and Cure Violence, which provides street level outreach to potential violent offenders, began operating in coordination with the Syracuse Truce Partnership. In addition to day-to-day enforcement of the criminal law, gun crime committed by one gang member will result in enhanced law enforcement scrutiny of the entire gang. The Syracuse Truce strategies include:

Enhanced Enforcement – Approximately 40 street saturation patrols, warrant details, code enforcement and probation/parole home visits of offenders in the gang’s area will be conducted on the South and West side of the City of Syracuse.

Street Outreach - The Syracuse Model neighborhood Facilities group will communicate with

those most affected by gun violence and help mobilize the affected communities.

Call-In Meetings - High risk offenders (on probation/parole) are mandated and/or invited to attend meetings to hear about the consequences of continued criminal activity which they can relay back to fellow gang members. Options for assistance in changing their lives are provided by social service providers including Syracuse Model Neighborhoods Facilities, CNY Works, Salvation Army, OCC, Jobs Plus!, New Justice Services, Syracuse Trauma Team, Boys and Girls Club, and Center for Community Alternatives.

Community Organizations - Individuals from neighborhood organizations and clergy are invited to call-in meetings to provide a strong message that violence will not be tolerated and assistance will be provided to those who want to change their lives in a positive way.

Evaluation - The John F. Finn Institute of Public Safety conducts process and outcome evaluations of the project. The Finn Institute has been a long time partner in Operation IMPACT (Now G.I.V.E.) and Project Safe Neighborhoods initiatives in Onondaga County.

Updated September 22, 2015

Project Safe Neighborhoods