Gun violence uptick in the City of Utica

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CITY OF UTICA, NY (WUTR-TV) — So far in 2020, there have been five confirmed homicides in the City of Utica. Comparing the statistics from 2019, the city has seen an increase in gun violence. So far in 2020, there have been 19 non fatal shootings. In 2019, there were 22 non fatal shootings reported.

“Unfortunately, this year we have five shooting homicides versus last year with only one, so that’s certainly an increase for us to determine why. I think there’s a variety of reasons and I think bail reform certainly is one,” says Sgt. Curley.

Oneida County is one of 17 counties involved the New York State GIVE initiative. GIVE stands for Gun Involved Violence Elimination. The counties were decided by crime rate and population. GIVE provides funding to law enforcement agencies, all in efforts to reduce gun violence. “Currently, the Utica Police Department partnered with the Oneida County District Attorney’s office as well as the Oneida County Probation Office and it’s in its 7th iteration of GIVE. For the past six years, we’ve been adhering to the four tenets of GIVE which are, hot-spots policing, focused deterrence, street outreach and crime prevention through environmental design,” says Sgt. Curley.

Locally, Sgt. Curley says about 10% of the population drives 90% of the crime. “…Within that population 2% to 3% of that 10% are the most drivers of violent crime. In Utica, we identified about 250 members who note to be in gangs who’ve been in gun activity in a period of time…We create a top ten list based on categorized statistics, police encounters, prior gun arrests, probation parole started…things of that nature in which those are the people we’re primarily targeting…” says Sgt. Curley.

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