In NY, ‘significant progress’ in fight against gun violence: Hochul

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New York State is seeing “significant progress” in the fight against gun violence.

That’s according to Gov. Kathy Hochul, who spoke at Northwell Health’s Fourth Annual Gun Violence Prevention Forum in New York City on Tuesday.

“We are taking major steps in the right direction, but these numbers are still too high,” Hochul told forum attendees, which included business executives, clinicians, researchers, policymakers and those affected by gun deaths.

Hosted by Northwell Health’s President and CEO Michael Dowling, the forum featured panels, one-on-one discussions and breakout working sessions.

The Northwell forum comes at a time when, according to officials, 2023 has already seen more than 80 mass shootings.

“Gun violence is a public health crisis,” Dowling said in statement prior to this year’s conference. “The responsibility falls on the shoulders of the decision makers of our nation’s health systems and hospitals to change the narrative on gun safety and pursue solutions that will make a meaningful difference.”

But through joint efforts like the forum “we can create an actionable roadmap to reduce unintentional gun deaths and gun-related homicides and suicides,” Dowling said.

“Each and every incident is tragic, and each shooting represents an unquantifiable amount of pain and harm to victims and their communities,” Hochul said. “We must continue treating gun violence as the public health crisis that it is, by identifying the source, interrupting its transmission, and treating it.”

Hocul cited preliminary 2022 data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stating that New York had the lowest firearm homicide rate of the 10 largest states in the country in 2021, with 3.1 deaths per 100,000 residents, which is less than half of the national average of 6.3 deaths per 100,000 residents.

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According to Hochul, New York City and communities participating in the state’s Gun Involved Violence Elimination, or GIVE, are seeing decreases in shooting incidents with injury in 2022 when compared to 2021. There was a 17 percent in New York City, for example. And shootings are down 29% on Long Island.

Hochul said she is investing $1 billion towards the continuum of care for mental health to address the long-term impact of gun violence. Hochul said there is a need to put dollars into schools to eradicate root causes of gun violence now, as well as to invest in mental health providers.

Hochul said her budget would address the state’s Crime Analysis Center Network to New York City, bringing to 11 the number of centers in the network that is supported by the state in partnership with local law enforcement agencies.

The budget would double funding for the GIVE initiative to $36 million. GIVE supports 20 police departments in 17 counties that account for more than 80 percent of the violent crime that occurs in New York State outside of New York City: Albany, Broome, Chautauqua, Dutchess, Erie, Monroe, Nassau, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Orange, Rensselaer, Rockland, Schenectady, Suffolk, Ulster and Westchester. District attorneys’ offices, probation departments, sheriffs’ offices, and other partners in those counties also receive funding through the initiative.

The budget would also bolster state police support by increasing Community Stabilization Units from 16 to 25 communities, funding an unprecedented four academy classes and expanding presence on federal task forces.

Tuesday’s forum included a one-on-one discussion with Dr. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. Surgeon General, and Dr. Chethan Sathya, director of Northwell’s Center for Gun Violence Prevention

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Additional speakers at the event included U.S. Chris Murphy; Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Director Steven Dettelbach; Nicole Hockley, cofounder and CEO of Sandy Hook Promise and others.



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