New program, Syracuse Truce, takes aim at gun and gang violence in the city

Syracuse is taking steps toward reducing the violence on its streets. Mayor Stephanie Miner, U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick and Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler announced â??Syracuse Truce,â?? which is described as â??â?¦an evidence-based strategy designed to significantly reduce gang and group related homicides and non-fatal shootings in Syracuse.â??

Syracuse Truce is a partnering between law enforcement and community service agencies that will push the new standard of â??zero-toleranceâ?? when it comes to gun violence.

The initiative has received a $300,000 federal grant from the Department of Justice under its Violent Gang and Gun Crime Reduction Program, one of nine awards given nationally.

Cities from all over the country with similar programs have met with huge success, with cities like Boston seeing a 63% reduction in youth crime.

The aim of â??Syracuse Truceâ?? is focused deterrence. U.S. Attorney says this about this method, â??The success of focused deterrence has been demonstrated in other cities. The message is clear â?? continued violence will result in a range of sanctions on the entire group causing the violence. The offers of assistance and services for offenders, on the other hand, provide a unique opportunity for gang members to change their lives for the better. I commend all those who are involved in this initiative. We are committed to making Syracuse a safer place to live.â??

Simply put, â??Syracuse Truceâ?? provides violent offender with a choice: Commit another gun crime and your whole gang will be held responsible, or take advantage of the services provided by â??Truceâ?? to make your life better.

The â??Syracuse Truceâ?? partnership met with members of â??actively violent groupsâ?? to give them a face-to-face â??Truce notification,â?? telling them the violence must stop, and giving them the information of how further violent acts will be dealt with.

The goal is to stop the violence between these groups, and to encourage their members to utilize the programs in place to make their lives better.