UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Gun violence rates are up across the state of New York, and in Utica the gun violence is slightly down if you look at the average year to year, however, the city is above the five year average.
“If you put it in proper perspective most jurisdictions in new york state including cities their gun violence rates are up. if you look at the five year average compared to this year. if you look year to year some are slightly down some are slightly up some are significantly up,” said Utica Chief of Police Mark Williams.
Many may think that these shootings are over gangs, however, Williams explains that most shootings are over petty disputes.
“It could be over a relationship, it could be over street credibility or disrespect and we’re seeing the gun violence more and more is over just none sense, that did not trigger gun violence in the past,” said Williams.
The police department has a Crime Prevention Unit which helps suppress gun activity, and they have taken over 70 hand guns off the street and made arrests in most cases.
“we work in conjunction with the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department who also provide deputies that work alongside our police officers on these details and had we not taken these guns off the street I’m sure our gun violence would’ve been a lot worse,” said Williams.
The Chief of Police says that it is getting tiring to see the violence and disrespect happening in the community, however, he commends the officers who work in the crime prevention unit.
“But that type of work is dangerous and I credit those officers they have done a fantastic job helping keep our community safe,” said Williams.