Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler and City of Newburgh Police Chief Arnold Amthor, on Monday, November 9 , announced the results of a recent analysis of the City of Newburgh Non-Fatal Shootings Project.
The analysis was reported in an October Research Brief issued by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). Overall, the analysis reflected a significant increase in the number of non-fatal shooting cases solved in the City of Newburgh during the project.
The City of Newburgh Non-Fatal Shootings Project began in 2017 and was designed to bring additional resources to bear on non-fatal shooting incidents where victims or other witnesses refused to cooperate with investigating police officers. DCJS provided funding for the project, allowing the hiring of a District Attorney’s investigator, a City of Newburgh detective, and a crime analyst. The project allowed investigators and the crime analyst to more thoroughly investigate non-fatal shooting cases, using types of evidence other than eyewitness testimony, so that additional cases could be solved. In addition, the project involved a research partner, the John F. Finn Institute for Public Safety, in Albany.
During the period of the project, the investigators solved 40% of the non-fatal shootings investigated. That figure compares to only a 14% solution rate before the project began. In addition, the City of Newburgh’s results on the project were significantly above those of the other jurisdiction that conducted the project, the City of Utica, which saw only half the City of Newburgh’s increase in the number of cases solved.
DCJS has discontinued funding for the Non-Fatal Shootings Project. The District Attorney’s Office has been able to retain the investigator involved in the project, and the project will continue with local resources at a reduced level.
“Gun violence is one of the most-significant issues in the City of Newburgh,” said Hoovler, “but, unfortunately, all too often victims and witnesses don’t want to come forward to assist investigations, for fear of reprisals from the shooters or their associates. The Non-Fatal Shootings Project was designed to solve shooting cases, bringing those perpetrators to justice, without necessarily involving civilian witnesses. I’m proud of our results on the Project, results that make the Project a national model for solving non-fatal shootings with uncooperative victims or witnesses.”
“The success of this program is evident,” said Amthor, “and clearly demonstrates the need to continue to collaborate with all available resources in order to deal with gun-related violence in the City of Newburgh.”