Governor Paterson announces ~Operation Impact TM grants

Governor David A. Paterson announced Tuesday that Operation IMPACT crime-fighting grants totaling $13.5 million will be awarded to the Upstate and Long Island counties that report 80 percent of the crime outside of the City of New York. The grants will support crime-fighting and violence reduction initiatives by providing funding for crime analysts and prosecutors, equipment such as surveillance cameras and special operations such as undercover details and warrant sweeps.

"Operation IMPACT is a crucial program that has made our communities safer by supporting strategic crime-fighting initiatives," Governor Paterson said. "As I have consistently said, public safety and economic revitalization go hand-in-hand. We must, as a State, do our part to assist our local law enforcement partners in ensuring that our communities are safe places to live, work and raise our families. These Operation IMPACT grants provide much-needed resources to help further that goal."

The following counties participate in and will receive funding from Operation IMPACT in 2010-11: Albany ($919,059), Broome ($394,231), Chautauqua ($237,702), Dutchess ($377,724), Erie ($1,611,466), Monroe ($1,680,460), Nassau ($1,108,008), Niagara ($588,408), Oneida ($397,834), Onondaga ($1,099,755), Orange ($773,069), Rensselaer ($491,408), Rockland ($289,681), Schenectady ($732,880), Suffolk ($1,228,794), Ulster ($275,331) and Westchester ($1,349,375).

Statistics show that after declining 2.4 percent in 2009, "index" crimes (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft) in the primary IMPACT jurisdictions are up about 2.5 percent for the first five months of 2010, driven almost entirely by an increase in property crimes. Murders, rapes and robberies are all down, but burglaries and larcenies are up in the IMPACT jurisdictions. Governor Paterson noted that in addition to the IMPACT funding, this fall, the Division of Crimial Justice Services (DCJS) will be distributing targeted grants to jurisdictions struggling with a spike in burglaries, enabling local authorities to obtain DNA evidence from the site of every burglary.

DCJS Commissioner Sean M. Byrne said: "I commend Governor Paterson for ensuring that these critical funds will be available even in these difficult fiscal times. Additionally, later this month Governor Paterson will launch an expanded BIOTRACKS initiative where IMPACT dollars are used to fund the deployment of evidence technicians to burglary scenes to collect DNA samples. Burglars are serial criminals, and solving one will frequently solve several and prevent many more. I can say with confidence that collecting DNA at burglary crime scenes will prevent a great deal more burglaries, and as well as homicides and sex crimes."

Each expenditure must bear a direct relationship to the goal of reducing violent crime, and the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) continually monitors the effectiveness of the program through monthly crime trend meetings with the IMPACT partners. The total amount available for Operation IMPACT this year, $13.5 million, is approximately 10.5 percent less than the $15.1 million available last year " a reflection of the State's fiscal crisis.Information courtesy of the New York State Office of the Governor

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