NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order declaring gun violence a disaster emergency in New York on Tuesday, freeing up additional resources to combat shootings statewide.
New York City crime statistics show shootings are up 37.8% from New Year’s Day through July 4, 2021, compared to the same period in 2020. Hate crimes have more than doubled, and sex crimes are up 24%. Murders are up 8%.
The governor made the announcement during a speech at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “We want to do with gun violence what we did with COVID,” Cuomo said. “It’s a matter of saving lives.”
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The state’s short-term efforts include:
- Treat gun violence like an emergency public health issue
- Target hotspots with data and science
- Positive engagement for at-risk youth
- Break the cycle of escalating violence
- Get illegal guns off the streets
- Keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people
Part of the governor’s long-term plan will be rebuilding police-community relationships statewide, including more community-based services and more responsive approaches to 911 calls.
“Not everything needs handcuffs and a gun,” Cuomo said.
WPIX contributed to this report