Division of Criminal Justice Services

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For immediate release: Friday, Nov. 7, 2014

New York State sponsors training in use of environmental design to reduce crime
for Western New York police agencies participating in the state’s GIVE initiative

Training in Erie County one of several technical assistance trainings being offered at no cost to agencies

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services this week sponsored technical assistance training for Western New York law enforcement agencies that participate in the state’s Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) initiative, with the training focusing on how the design of buildings and public spaces can contribute to crime reduction and improve quality of life.

Approximately 20 law enforcement professionals from four of the 17 GIVE counties – Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara and Monroe – attended the three-day Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) training at the Erie Community College Law Enforcement Academy in Williamsville. The training, which began Wednesday and concluded today, was presented by the National Crime Prevention Council, a national, non-profit organization that specializes in crime prevention education.

GIVE targets communities served by 20 law enforcement agencies that collectively report 86 percent of the violent crime in the state outside of New York City. It evolved from Operation IMPACT and provides those agencies and others in the 17 counties with $13.2 million in grants to reduce shootings and firearm-related homicides.

Providing free technical assistance to jurisdictions is a new component of GIVE. The CPTED training focuses on how design and effective use of lighting, landscaping and traffic patterns, among other items, and code enforcement and maintenance of buildings and public spaces, can contribute to crime reduction. It includes classroom instruction and hands-on community safety assessments.

Representatives from the following agencies attended the training in Williamsville: police departments in Buffalo, Jamestown, Niagara Falls and Rochester; sheriffs’ offices in Niagara and Monroe counties; and the city of Buffalo. 

GIVE agencies also will receive technical assistance in hot-spot policing – Western New York GIVE agencies participated in that training in September – and the use of focused deterrence against violent gangs and groups. The technical assistance is designed to help ensure GIVE partner agencies are effectively implementing evidence-based strategies to target, reduce and solve shootings and firearm-related homicides.

“Part of the evolution from Operation IMPACT to GIVE is focusing on crime fighting strategies proven effective in reducing shootings and homicides.  We are working to give law enforcement agencies access to the best tools available as they work to keep our streets safe,” DCJS Executive Deputy Commissioner Michael C. Green said. “Those tools include providing technical assistance like CPTED that will allow communities to tailor strategies to meet their individual needs.”

CPTED operates around four principles to enhance crime prevention strategies. Those principles are natural access control, natural surveillance, territorial reinforcement and maintenance. The primary goal of the CPTED training is to provide law enforcement, individuals and organizations that are involved in community crime prevention programs with information needed to create their own initiatives to prevent crime through environmental design. 

Those attending the training learned how to assess conditions in a neighborhood and apply practical access control (doors, fences), surveillance (lighting, windows, landscaping), territorial reinforcement (signs, sidewalks, ordinances) and maintenance (code enforcement, community cleanups) to improve homes, neighborhoods and communities. The training also gives officers the opportunity to do a safety assessment of a nearby neighborhood and evaluate how CPTED principles could be used.

More information on GIVE: http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/pio/press_releases/2014-05-01_pressrelease.html.

More information about the National Crime Prevention Council: www.ncpc.org

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (www.criminaljustice.ny.gov) is a multi-function criminal justice support agency with a variety of responsibilities, including law enforcement training; collection and analysis of statewide crime data; maintenance of criminal history information and fingerprint files; administrative oversight of the state’s DNA databank, in partnership with the New York State Police; funding and oversight of probation and community correction programs; 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.