Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $159,499)
PROGRAM ABSTRACT - Project Safe Neighborhoods FY 2021
APPLICANT: THE ROSAMOND GIFFORD CHARITABLE FOUNDATION, Inc.
126 N. Salina Street, Syracuse, New York 13202
PROJECT: Syracuse Gun Violence Reduction Enhancement
DISTRICT POPULATION: 3.4 million
FEDERAL FUNDS REQUESTED: $159,499
PROJECT PERIOD: October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2024
RESEARCH PARTNER: The John Finn Institute for Public Safety, Inc.
The Syracuse PSN Strategy Committee established in 2010 proposes to take the next step in the evolution of the City’s gang and gun reduction strategies by placing renewed emphasis on law enforcement strategies. These efforts will be coordinated with ongoing prevention and intervention strategies in place. The NDNY intends to strengthen Onondaga/Syracuse efforts to prevent, respond to, and reduce violent crime by directing most funds to the Syracuse Police Department’s prevention and suppression activities in the City's gun crime hot-spots and directing funds to support GVTF activities, as well. PSN funding will support SPD initiatives in hot spots, including prevention strategies, suppression details, walking beats, traffic checkpoints, home visits with chronic offenders, Parole GPS details, SWEEP details, and more. SWEEP applies problem-oriented policing strategies to micro-places of violent crime. In addition, we will use PSN funds to acquire intelligence-gathering technology. We will purchase covert cameras and associated equipment for use by the SPD and GVTF members conducting investigations of known gang members and violent offenders in hot spot target areas. Our PSN Strategy Committee will be responsible for maintaining focus on identifying locations experiencing disproportionate amounts of violent crime, identifying the offenders driving violence in these areas, and ensuring activities are targeted accordingly.
With a residential population of 143,129, the City of Syracuse is not a big city, but it has big-city violence. Gun violence has been a particular problem in Syracuse and has intensified in the last few years. Gun crime dramatically increased 59 percent in 2020 (N=1,002 all gun crime incidents), compared to the 2017-2019 five-year average (N=632 all gun crime incidents). In 2020, shootings with injury or fatality increased 44 percent, with homicides by gun increasing 31 percent. Analysis continues to indicate that gun crime and criminal possession of a weapon are disproportionately driven by people involved in groups/gangs (shooters and victims), concentrated in hot-spots, and highly related to drug trafficking and illicit markets.
The PSN Strategy Committee serves as the oversight body to gun and gang violence initiatives in Onondaga County. Agencies represented on the Strategy Committee include the Gifford Foundation (the funding agency), the Finn Institute (the research partner), Syracuse Police Department, Onondaga County Probation, the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of NY, the Salvation Army, the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office, the Syracuse City School District, and the City of Syracuse.