SCHUMER: CITY OF NEWBURGH HAS STRUGGLED TO CONTAIN RECORD-HIGH LEVELS OF VIOLENT CRIME; WITH OVER 300 PEOPLE INJURED FROM GUN VIOLENCE OVER THE LAST DECADE, CITY HAS APPLIED FOR FED FUNDS THAT WOULD HELP IT INSTALL AUDIO SENSORS THAT ALERT POLICE WHEN GUNSHOTS ARE FIRED – SENATOR URGES DEPT. OF JUSTICE TO AWARD FUNDING ASAP
Newburgh Has Highest Violent Crime Rate in New York State – In 2015 Alone, 55 People In The City of Newburgh Were Injured by Firearms; As of 2013, According to FBI, Newburgh Residents Had 1 In 16 Chance of Being Victim of Violent Crime or Property Crime
Newburgh Has Applied For Fed Funding To Purchase High-Tech System – Called “ShotSpotter” – That Would Enable More Than 100 Audio Sensors Across City To Detect Gunshots & Send Real-Time Alerts To Police, Allowing First Responders To More Quickly And Accurately Locate Crime Scenes & Victims
Schumer: System Could Be Game-Changer For Curbing Violent Crime In Newburgh
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today launched a major push to secure funding from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that would allow the City of Newburgh to confront and contain high rates of violent crime. Schumer explained that the city has long struggled to address this issue and, in fact, has the highest violent crime rate in New York State. The City of Newburgh has applied for more than $430,000 in federal funding through the DOJ’s Technology Innovation for Public Safety (TIPS) program that would allow it to purchase a new audio sensing system called “ShotSpotter.” Schumer explained that this technology is used to improve police response to gunshots, as it provides data to law enforcement in real time when it detects the sound of gunshots. This allows first responders to more quickly and accurately locate crime scenes and victims. Schumer said this kind of system would require installing nearly 100 sensors around the city and, therefore, the DOJ must award this desperately needed funding for the City of Newburgh as soon as possible.
“The City of Newburgh needs all the help it can get to lower this disturbing uptick in violent crime, and the federal government should be stepping in to help. That’s why I’m urging the DOJ to award this desperately needed federal funding, which will allow the city to install a high-tech audio sensor system that will alert officers in real-time when gunshots have been fired. This kind of system will enable first responders to more quickly respond as well as accurately locate crime scenes and victims,” said Senator Schumer. “We need to use every tool in our toolbox and, with this funding, Newburgh could take a real bite out of violent crime.”
“The City of Newburgh Police strive to be progressive in addressing gun violence in our community. It is with great gratitude that we have Senator Schumer’s support and assistance in obtaining ShotSpotter technology. We believe that this tool will make our community safer as it has in many other major cities across the nation,” said Newburgh Police Chief Dan Cameron.
“Due to the number of violent crimes in Newburgh, ShotSpotter would be a wonderful way to help the police department identify and respond in a timely manner to shots being fired in various areas in Newburgh. It will give the police officers the data they need, including the specific targeted areas that the city needs to address. I think it is a wonderful tool and the evidence supports that. Thank you Senator Schumer for your help and support,” said Michael McLymore, Executive Director of Human Resources for Newburgh School District, Pastor at Founder of Life Restoration Church in Newburgh, and Newburgh resident.
Schumer explained that, while Newburgh currently employs several evidence-based gun violence reduction programs, it lacks critical data regarding gunfire frequency. The City of Newburgh is therefore applying for $432,600 in federal TIPS funds that would blanket nearly 4 square miles of the city with roughly 100 audio sensors able to detect gunshots and send real-time alerts to police. The ShotSpotter system provides data to law enforcement in real time when it detects the sound of gunshots, allowing first responders to more quickly and accurately locate crime scenes and victims, and providing crucial data regarding the frequency and location of gunshots.
Schumer said this is both a vital law enforcement and public health tool – as the faster first responders get to victims, the more likely they are to save them from potentially life-threatening wounds. In addition, Schumer explained that many gun-related incidents typically go unreported or are reported when it is already too late. According to the City, this technology would provide a more accurate picture of gun violence in Newburgh and allow the NCPD to better tailor prevention strategies and improve in-progress shooting responses. Schumer therefore urged the DOJ to award this funding for the City of Newburgh as soon as possible, so the city can begin its anti-crime operation.
According to a NY State Division of Criminal Justice Services GIVE Initiative Crime, Arrest, and Firearm Activity report issued this month, between 2006 and 2016, the number of shooting victims per year rose from 4 to 55. In 2015 alone, there were 43 shooting incidents involving 55 victims. According to the Times Herald Record, in March of this year, Newburgh resident Glenton “Superman” Wright was lost to gun violence while his 10-year-old son waited in the car, on the same street where an 11-year-old girl was also struck by a bullet recently.
A copy of Schumer’s letter to the DOJ appears below:
Dear Attorney General Lynch:
I am pleased to write in support of the City of Newburgh’s application for funding through DOJ’s Technology Innovation for Public Safety (TIPS) program. Such funding will enable Newburgh to utilize ShotSpotter technology to improve police response to gunshots in the City.
The City of Newburgh has long struggled to confront and contain high rates of violent crime, and, in fact, has the highest violent crime rate in New York State. Despite an overall reduction in violent crime over the last three years, firearm assaults and shootings have been on the rise. The City ended 2015 with a 15% increase in shootings, despite months of reductions and extensive programs by the City of Newburgh Police Department (NCPD) to target gun violence. In 2015 alone there were 43 shooting incidents involving 55 victims. Newburgh currently employs several evidence-based gun violence reduction programs, but lacks critical data regarding gunfire frequency.
With funding, Newburgh will purchase ShotSpotter Gunfire Location, Alert and Analysis Service technology. ShotSpotter provides data to law enforcement in real time when it detects the sound of gunshots, allowing first responders to more quickly and accurately locate crime scenes and victims, and providing crucial data regarding the frequency and location of gunshots. This is both a vital law enforcement and public health tool: the faster first responders get to victims, the more likely they are to save them from potentially life-threatening wounds.
According to the City of Newburgh, ShotSpotter technology will provide data that can be analyzed into actionable information, and give the NCPD the opportunity to respond immediately to in-progress gunfire, increasing the Department’s ability to recover illegal firearms, apprehend violent criminals, and save lives. According to the City, this technology will provide a more accurate picture of gun violence in Newburgh and allow NCPD to better tailor prevention strategies and improve in-progress shooting responses. I applaud the City of Newburgh for its foresight and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval.
Thank you for your consideration.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
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