Contact: John Caher, Press Office
(518) 457-8415 or cell: (518) 225-5240
john.caher@dcjs.ny.gov
For release: Wednesday, July 30, 2008, Noon

State aids Ulster county crime-fighting initiatives
Operation IMPACT grant targets robberies, assaults 

 

KINGSTON – Commissioner Denise E. O’Donnell of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) today announced that the state will continue to support grants to benefit strategic crime-fighting initiatives in Ulster County, even with the state facing a fiscal crisis.

“Governor Paterson and I believe that the safety of the community is vital if we are to provide safe neighborhoods for our families to live and work, and for our businesses to survive and prosper,” Commissioner O’Donnell said. “Even in these very difficult fiscal times, we must be mindful that the most basic obligation of government is the protection of its citizenry.”

Law enforcement officials and community leaders in Ulster County today joined Commissioner O’Donnell, to announce a state crime-fighting award of $351,232 to Operation IMPACT partners in Ulster County.

Operation IMPACT is a DCJS program to tackle violent and gun crime in the 17 counties Upstate and on Long Island that report 80 percent of crime outside of New York City. This year’s awards to the Ulster County partnership are: $101,500 for the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office; $97,500 for the Kingston Police Department; $97,160 for the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office; $45,072 for the Ulster County Probation Department; and $10,000 for the Ellenville Police Department.

“Governor Paterson and I are pleased that in this difficult period we are still able to assist the Ulster County law enforcement community,” Commissioner O’Donnell said. “Our award this year will help support saturation patrols in high-crime areas, drug sweeps, in-depth crime analysis and other initiatives that are so important to the continued success of Ulster County’s crime-fighting efforts, as well as the county’s economic viability.”

With the help of Operation IMPACT, crime in Kingston is down 39 percent for the first five months of 2008, following a 14 percent decrease in crime between 2006 and 2007. Violent crime is down 53 percent. Property crime is down 37 percent and violent crime is down 53 percent. But firearm-related crimes are up slightly (four reported through May of 2008 compared with three in the same period of 2007) in Kingston.

In Ulster County, crime this year is generally trending down, with a decrease of  2.3 percent reported for the first five months of the year. Violent crime in the county is down more than 20 percent.

 “The proven IMPACT model is built on collaboration, intelligence-based policing, deployment of technology and timely use of accurate crime data and technology,” Commissioner O’Donnell said. “IMPACT strives not only to respond to crime, but to prevent crime, and our partners in Ulster County are committed to this public safety program.”

In addition to DCJS, the following state and federal agencies participate in the Ulster County IMPACT initiative: the New York State Police; the Division of Parole; the U.S. Attorney’s Office; the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; and the federal office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In addition, Professor Ling Zhou of Marist College serves as a crime analyst for the Ulster IMPACT partnership.

Operation IMPACT grants fund personnel, including crime analysts, assistant district attorneys, field intelligence officers, probation officers and investigators. The grants also support technology, such as mobile surveillance cameras, crime mapping software, digital fingerprinting equipment and laptop computers.

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 provide 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.