Cooperative Effort Reduces Gun Violence in Orange County

NEWBURGH – Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler and City of Newburgh Police Chief Douglas Solomon, announced that the City of Newburgh has experienced a dramatic reduction in the number of shooting incidents that resulted in someone being injured by gunfire.

In 2015, the City of Newburgh experienced 55 incidents where shootings resulted in people being hit by gunfire. Since then, that number has been dramatically reduced, to 48 in 2016, and to 17 in 2017. So far in 2018, only three people have been hit by gunfire in the City. If that number holds up for the remainder of the year, it will represent a nearly 95% decrease in shootings in three years.

In fact, the City’s significant reduction in gun violence was cited during the Data-Driven Decision-Making Symposium sponsored by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), which brought together more than 350 law enforcement professionals from the twenty agencies supported by the DCJS’s Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) Initiative and the nineteen partner counties in the its Crime Analysis Center Network. Hoovler, Solomon, and DCJS have attributed the reduction in violence, in part, to a number of cooperative efforts between local, state, and federal law enforcement partners.

Two specific initiatives of that law enforcement partnership have been credited for much of the reduction in violence. First, since 2015, under the GIVE initiative, the Group Violence Intervention strategy has targeted and removed from the community some of the most-violent offenders in the City, while at the same time impressing on potential offenders the community’s outrage at the violence and offering assistance to offenders who wish to leave their violent lifestyle behind in favor of trying to become law-abiding members of the community.

“We are witnessing a historic change in the culture of violence in the City of Newburgh,” said District Attorney Hoovler, “reductions in shootings that can only benefit the City for the foreseeable future. None of it would have been possible without the thoughtfulness and support of DCJS and its Commissioner Mike Green, or without the cooperation of our law enforcement partners at the local, state, and federal levels. The numbers are impressive so far, but much remains to be done. My office will remain committed to reducing the level of violence in the City of Newburgh, so that, hopefully, we can make the City an even safer place to live, work, and learn.”

“Through the successful implementation of the Group Violence Intervention, Hot Spot Policing, Targeted Enforcement, and now The Non-Fatal Shooting Program,” said Police Chief Douglas Solomon, “we have been able to reinvent our tactics when it comes to combating gun violence in the City of Newburgh. With these successes we believe we have turned a corner here in Newburgh and the worst is behind us. We can now focus more of our attention on building relationships with our young people here in the city through programs like the Youth Police Initiative. We will continue to work with our GIVE partners and keep the momentum going. When it comes to gun violence, there is absolutely zero tolerance here in Newburgh.”