Contact: Janine Kava, Press Office
(518) 457-8906 or cell: (518) 275-5508
janine.kava@dcjs.ny.gov
For immediate release: Thursday, July 17, 2008

Operation IMPACT grants to combat domestic violence, gun and drug crimes in Troy and Rensselaer County

 

TROY – Law enforcement and elected officials today joined Denise E. O’Donnell, commissioner of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), and community leaders at the Troy Police Department’s North Station to announce more than $600,000 in grants to fund crime-fighting initiatives and a new strategy to tackle domestic violence in the Collar City.

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

“Governor Paterson and I are pleased to provide this IMPACT award, which gives local law enforcement resources that they would not otherwise have, resources that allow them to identify trends and attack crime as it emerges,” Commissioner O’Donnell said. “For example, the Troy partnership has recognized that domestic violence is driving their aggravated assaults, and we’re pleased to be able to give them additional resources to address this problem.”

This year’s IMPACT award will allow the Troy Police Department to create a Domestic Incident Unit and dedicate a full-time investigator to handle domestic violence cases, while the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s Office will assign a prosecutor to handle these cases in court. In addition, the Police Department and District Attorney’s Office also will partner with Unity House, a Troy-based community organization that provides services to domestic violence victims, and the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence for advocacy and training.
 
The following agencies will share the $604,425 IMPACT award: the Troy Police Department ($373,994); the District Attorney’s Office ($130,533); the Rensselaer County Probation Department ($86,198); and the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office ($13,700).

In addition to attacking domestic violence, the Troy IMPACT partnership will continue its focus on robberies and drug and gang activity, as well as the deployment of its Street Crimes Unit (SCU), which was created in response to a spate of shootings in the city last year. The SCU marks its first anniversary on July 31, and in the year since its establishment, its members have made 450 arrests. In the period from June 2, 2008, through July 7, 2008, the unit’s officers made 59 arrests on a total of 142 charges: 59 violations, 51 misdemeanors, 17 felonies and a total of 15 traffic tickets, parole and bench warrants, and probation violations.

“Law enforcement officials in Troy have embraced the cornerstones of Operation IMPACT – collaboration, intelligence-based policing, including institution of CompStat, deployment of technology and timely use of accurate crime data and technology – and have made them standard operating procedure,” 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. The grant also supports technology, such as mobile surveillance cameras, crime mapping software, digital fingerprinting equipment and laptop computers. In addition to DCJS, several other local, state and federal agencies participate in Troy’s IMPACT initiative: the New York State Police, New York State Parole, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Marshals Service.

The state’s other IMPACT jurisdictions are Albany, Broome, Chautauqua, Dutchess, Erie, Monroe, Nassau, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Orange, 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.