The state is pledging to increase Syracuse policing to "fight against violent crime involving gangs and firearms," as the governor's office phrased it in a release Tuesday afternoon. These resources are to help with a recent string of shootings in the city that Syracuse police have not publically said were gang-related, despite some being targeted.
"It's not just one situation, there has been a rash. So, what do you do? Everything you can," said Governor Andrew Cuomo Tuesday talking to reporters during a gaggle at Ithaca airport.
Incidents like the Midland Avenue shooting with five surviving victims, a fatal shooting on Coolidge Avenue with a 15 year-old victim, and a Sterling Avenue shooting leaving a 14-year-old in critical condition, have yet to have any arrests.
Although a North Side shooting that killed a 12-year-old has had one arrest, the case remains under investigation.
"But you need to get them [young kids] off the streets and offer them some hope. We'll look to community-based programs in Syracuse to tell us what will work best here."
The state's plan is two-fold: Offer funding for community programs and increase police presence.
Additional troopers for 10 patrols- in coordination with Syracuse police- and one additional investigator to the Onondaga Crime Analysis Center and the Gang Violence Task Force, are some of the ideas to increase police in the area. The state will be assiging an additional Office of Special Investigations Investigator to the Syracuse Police Department's Gang Violence Task Force.
According to the release, the investigator will focus on sharing "gang intelligence information" with local agencies, along with other efforts.
City Spokesperson Greg Loh says the governor's office has been in contact with Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens. He says specific engagement between the state and city will be planned in the "days ahead."
A statement from Mayor Walsh reads:
"Reducing gun violence in our community will take an 'all-out' effort on multiple fronts, which is why we called on government and law enforcement at every level for support. We greatly appreciate Governor Cuomo working together with us to increase safety and security for Syracuse children and families."
As for the state's effort to assist the city, the police department says it will not comment on statements made by other entities.