For Immediate Release: November 18, 2011
(Queens, NY)- Today, Senator Malcolm A. Smith announced the extension of funding for the anti gang/gun violence program called Operation SNUG. SNUG, which is guns spelled backwards and the brainchild of Senator Smith and his colleagues in the State Senate, has been hailed as one of the most successful anti violence programs funded by the state. SNUG programs have attributed to the drop in gang violence throughout the state; Yonkers saw a 39% drop in gang and gun violence, Brooklyn SNUG target area saw a 27% drop with no shootings over 100 days, Queens also had over 100 days of no shootings. Throughout the state other programs boast similar results.
SNUG, which is modeled after the successful Ceasefire Chicago program, utilizes former incarcerated individuals as interrupters. " SNUG continues to address the violence in our communities and it's unique operation model has proven to show how cooperation between local law enforcement and the community can make our neighborhoods and city safe," said Senator Smith.
Brooklyn, Manhattan, Yonkers, Albany and Erie County have all received funding extensions of approximately 150k, from the Division of Criminal Justice Services which should carry them to April, when the state's 2012-13 budget will be adopted. Other programs have different funding cycles; Queens ends in July.
"I am very grateful to the Governor and his Administration for recognizing the importance of this program and the significant impact it has on making our communities safe throughout the state." Smith continued, "In addition I would like to thank Reverend Sharpton and National Action Network, Assemblyman Karim Camara, members of the State Senate and the Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus, and the SNUG programs for their advocacy and hard work that has made the program a success. Now we have to make sure we find alternatives for the young people that are no longer looking at gangs and guns as a social outlet."