Funding Secured in Budget For Violence Prevention Program

State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D – 35th District) announced today that the Senate has launched a new program designed to cut down on illegal guns and gang violence that plagues our communities.

“Since the beginning of the year, in Yonkers alone, there have been over twenty incidents of gun violence,” stated Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D – 35th District). “Gun and gang violence is on the rise and aggressively addressing this issue through prevention efforts is in everyone’s best interest.”

The initiative, dubbed “Operation SNUG (guns spelled backwards)” will help local law enforcement and anti-violence community groups create innovative programs to steer at-risk New Yorkers away from the culture of gangs and illegal drugs.

The Senate secured $4 million in the FY 2009-10 State Budget for front-line anti-gun and gang violence prevention efforts that will benefit the hardest-hit communities across the state. As a result, the cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, New York City and Westchester County will receive new infusions of much-needed funding that will allow for better cooperation between police and prosecutors to keep our children safe and streets secure.

 Senator Stewart-Cousins continued, “Unfortunately, every urban community in New York State has fallen victim to the often deadly tale of children and guns. Through outreach, prevention, and intervention techniques, we can keep New York’s youth out of gang life and away from illegal guns.”

 “I am pleased to support and advocate for this Senate initiative to help local law enforcement and anti-violence groups prevent more violence and keep our children and families safe,” Senator Stewart-Cousins concluded.