Since Thanksgiving, the City of Utica has seen a rise in shootings along with a Christmas Eve and Christmas day shooting. Sergeant Michael Curley says this has been a very trying year for everyone and certainly for the Utica Police Department. He says they are doing their best to get a handle on this.
Gun Involved Violence Elimination also know as “GIVE” is funded by the department of criminal justice services to help stop gun violence in a community.
“Obviously I don’t think anything can be under taken in this city with respect to gun violence and violent crime without community involvement. And unfortunately with COVID, it’s been a little difficult to get everybody in the same room and have some comprehensive talks about what we can do with gun violence. But hopefully things will settle down a little bit and we can put our heads together and get a handle on the crime here not only in Utica but across the state.” —Curley
The City of Utica has seen a rise in shootings compared to last year, there were 28 shootings and zero homicides. As of today there’s been 37 shootings and nine homicides.
“We know some of these shootings have been group and gang involved. a lot of them have been related to one another. So, we’re trying to get a pretty good handle on what we could do with respect to targeting specific groups and individuals who are driving this gun violence.”—Curley
The biggest issue is victim/ witness cooperation.
“We may know a lot of the times what occurred in these shootings but if someone is not willing to come forward to put in a good prosecutable case forward, it’s very difficult for us to make an arrest…”
Curley says the police department can only do so much, they need the community’s help.