Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) urges relevant community groups in her district to apply for funding through the Operation SNUG program. Operation SNUG, which Senator Oppenheimer co-sponsored, is a new anti-crime initiative aimed at helping local law enforcement and community groups work together to guide at-risk New Yorkers away from the culture of gangs and gun violence.
Westchester County is among eight communities throughout the State that have been identified as among the hardest hit by gun violence. Four million dollars was set aside in the 2009-10 state budget to fund anti-violence programs in these communities. Applications are currently being solicited for Operation SNUG community partners. Interested groups must be registered as non-profit 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organizations, be located in a hotspot for gun violence and be able to identify and engage high risk individuals.
Operation SNUG, which is “guns” spelled backwards, is modeled after the highly successful Chicago-based CeaseFire program. CeaseFire utilizes five key components -- community mobilization, youth outreach, public education, faith-based leader involvement and law enforcement participation -- in its outreach and prevention efforts.
“Eight young people on average are killed by gun violence each day in America,” observed Senator Oppenheimer. “By promoting positive alternatives to guns and a life of crime, we can begin to reverse this epidemic of violence. I am a strong supporter of Operation SNUG, which will provide law enforcement and anti-violence groups the tools they need to keep our children and our communities safe.”
Interested organizations may obtain applications to become an Operation SNUG community partner by contacting Patricia Rubens at (212) 298-5585, Ale Paulino at (518)455-2628, or Michael Kink at (518) 455-2711. Applications must be returned no later than 4:00 pm on July 30, 2009.