Troubled city seeks help to reduce gun violence

Posted 11/19/21

“This is a call to action to all stakeholders including parents, school officials, elected officials, churches, not profits to come together in a collective effort in reaching our troubled …

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Troubled city seeks help to reduce gun violence

Posted

This is a call to action to all stakeholders including parents, school officials, elected officials, churches, not profits to come together in a collective effort in reaching our troubled youth.”

The speaker was Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey, just 48 hours after the latest shooting left four Newburgh teens wounded.

Harvey was joined Friday at the Newburgh Fire Department by City of Newburgh Police Commissioner Jose A Gomerez and Police Chief Anthony W.  Geraci, They recounted the chilling account from Wednesday’s incident. 

On November 17, there was an incident involving multiple juvenile shooting victims in the City of Newburgh. The crime scene spanned several blocks and required a multi-agency response. Due to the age of the victims, their names will not be released.

  • • At least four different handguns were discharged
  • • All victims are City of Newburgh residents, who attend the Newburgh School District
  • • All victims are 16-18 years of age
  • • Three victims have been discharged from the hospital as of Friday evening. One remains hospitalized in stable condition.
  • • No suspects have been identified.
  • • All suspects are believed to be younger, group involved members, and tied to the City of Newburgh
  • • 17 shell casings recovered from multiple scenes and include calibers of 9MM, .45, and .22

As officers were responding to the initial calls for shots fired, one male armed with a firearm appears to wait for the first officer on-scene to get closer to his position and fired three rounds in the air towards the officers direction. This occurred steps away from a school bus dropping off elementary students.

“Every act of violence is troubling, but this case is especially disturbing from the amount of youth involved to the amount of guns fired in broad daylight and towards responding police, as children were walking home with their parents,” Gomerez said. “ I feel as though we adverted a real tragedy from occurring and are fortunate there were no innocent bystanders nor officers struck by gunfire. This intentional and violent behavior will not be tolerated in our community.”

City of Newburgh has begun to experience an increase in violent crime. Year to date figures through November 16th show that while total Part One crime is showing a reduction of 10% in 2021 compared to 2020, violent crime is showing a 19% increase. Bullet to body shootings currently show 31 victims compared to 18 this time last year which equates into an increase of 72%. These assaults combined with confirmed shots fired incidents show 97 instances of confirmed gunfire in the City.

To address these new issues, the City of Newburgh Police Department (CNPD) is renewing efforts in Hot Spot Policing with emphasis on group members in high gun violence areas. CNPD will pro-actively engage in focused deterrence through enforcement efforts that will be precise and data-driven. The Department will continue to work collaboratively with its’ law enforcement partners who have proven themselves critical to reducing gun violence. This includes our federal partners in the FBI’s Hudson Valley Safe Streets Taskforce and ATF, as well as Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and New York State Police.

Furthermore, the Department has increased custom notifications of group members as part of the Department’s Group Violence Intervention (GVI) program created by National Network for Safe Communities at John Jay College. Newburgh’s GVI is program funded through the DCJS Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) grant. This includes plans for a call-in in the near future. CNPD’s approach to addressing gun violence is multi-faceted, which includes partnering with social services agencies. This includes partnering with the Orange County Employment and Training Administration who is facilitating Job Readiness Training with $600,000 in funding from the New York State Department of Labor. CNPD also partners with members of the SNUG program who actively work on the streets of Newburgh as violence interrupters.

The assistance and cooperation of the community in reducing gun violence is equally important. If you have any information regarding the recent shooting, other cases of gun violence, and/or information regarding illegal gun possession please contact the City of Newburgh Police Department at (845) 561-3131.

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