Contact: Janine Kava, Press Office
(518) 457-8906 or cell: (518) 275-5508
janine.kava@dcjs.ny.gov

For immediate release: Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Crime-fighting initiative in Utica, Oneida County expanded
New York State awards nearly $475,000 in Operation IMPACT funding

UTICA – Law enforcement officials and community leaders today joined Denise E. O’Donnell, commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), at the Utica Police Department to announce a 34 percent increase in grants to benefit strategic crime-fighting initiatives in Utica and Oneida County.

DCJS awarded the grants through Operation IMPACT, the state’s program to tackle violent and gun crime through intelligence-based policing, partnerships among law enforcement and community organizations and timely use of accurate crime data. Operation IMPACT targets the 17 counties Upstate and on Long Island that report 80 percent of crime out of New York City.

“Law enforcement in Utica and Oneida County has made great strides in embracing the cornerstones of Operation IMPACT,” Commissioner O’Donnell said. “It is our hope that this significant increase in funding will allow them to build upon that success, particularly through its new City of Utica Frequent Felony System – CUFFS – program to target the 100 most violent offenders in the community and through future warrant initiatives such as the successful one announced today.”

The $472,767 in Operation IMPACT funding will be shared among the following agencies: police departments in Utica ($185,506) and New Hartford ($76,289); the District Attorney’s Office ($123,968), Sheriff’s Office ($78,504) and Probation Department ($5,000) in Oneida County; and JCTOD Outreach Inc., which provides mentorship, education, recreational activities and anti-violence campaigns for children in the Corn Hill section of Utica ($3,500).

“If we are to revitalize our cities and enhance economic development, they must be safe for families and businesses. Our award of IMPACT funds provides our local law enforcement partners with resources that they would not otherwise have, resources that allow them to identify trends and attack crime as it emerges,” Commissioner O’Donnell said.

“As anyone in law enforcement will tell you, vigilance and consistent focus, pressure and smart strategies are necessary to achieving long-term results in crime reduction,” she added. “We are committed to providing local law enforcement with the resources they need to stay one step ahead of those individuals who break the law.”

Operation IMPACT grants fund personnel, including crime analysts, assistant district attorneys, field intelligence officers, probation officers and investigators, and technology, including laptops, mobile surveillance cameras, crime mapping software and digital fingerprinting equipment.

In addition to DCJS, the following local, state and federal agencies participate in the IMPACT initiative in Utica and Oneida County: the Oneida County Reentry Task Force; the Oneida County Drug Task Force; the Juvenile Crime Enforcement Coalition; the Division of Parole; the Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives; the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence; the New York State Police; and the State Liquor Authority; the federal Drug Enforcement Agency; the FBI; the U.S. Attorney’s Office; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

The state’s other IMPACT jurisdictions are Albany, Broome, Chautauqua, Dutchess, Erie, Monroe, Nassau, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Orange, Rensselaer, Rockland, Schenectady, Suffolk, Ulster and Westchester counties.

IMPACT grants are awarded competitively, with priority given to those jurisdictions with the highest volume of crime. In addition to providing IMPACT partners with grant funds, DCJS also has a technical assistance team that provides on-site training, guidance and assistance in developing effective crime-reduction strategies that address each jurisdiction’s unique needs and trends.

DCJS continually monitors the effectiveness of the program through monthly crime trend meetings with its IMPACT partners. These meetings provide each IMPACT site with an opportunity to present an ongoing overview of their strategy and how it relates to the crime problem in their jurisdiction as determined by their analysis.

The crime trends meetings also provides a forum for the local IMPACT partners to discuss obstacles that they are encountering and to identify any additional needs that they have that will assist them in reducing crime.

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services is a multi-function criminal justice support agency with a variety of responsibilities, including collection and analysis of statewide crime data; operation of the DNA databank and criminal fingerprint files; 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 and a toll-free telephone number (1-800-262-3257) that allows anyone to research the status of an offender.