State Senator John J. Bonacic brought New York State’s top Criminal Justice official to Middletown today to discuss crime in the City with the goal of directing more State resources into the City.
Operation IMPACT is a State program which directs additional criminal justice funds to targeted areas based on local applications. To date, the City of Middletown has not been included in the Orange County application for IMPACT funding.
“I have lived in the Middletown area for forty years. I have seen a disturbing rise in crime in Middletown these last few years. We need to adjust our State and regional crime fighting strategy to recognize this concern and address it. Five homicides this year is five too many, and given a rise in rape, it was important to bring the State’s top criminal justice officials here,” Bonacic said.
Joining Bonacic at the meeting included top Members of the State Police, Middletown Councilman James Kitson, Mayor Marlinda Duncanson, Commissioner O’Donnell and other State officials. Bonacic has already secured aid for the Middletown Police Department this year. “Member items – what people call ‘pork,’ are not the way we should be funding our crime fighting efforts. We need a larger commitment from the State Division of Criminal Justice Services. If that message had not been received to date, it has been now,” Bonacic said.
Operation IMPACT grant applications are made in affected Counties by communities with the highest rate of violent crime. In Orange County the application is jointly made by the City of Newburgh Police Chief and Orange County District Attorney. “We want Middletown included in Operation IMPACT and judging from the meeting today, Commissioner O’Donnell wants to help make that happen. We want to stop this spike in crime before it becomes a trend.”