Mayor Eric Adams, along with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul,...

Mayor Eric Adams, along with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, Attorney General Letitia James and other city leaders, announced a major gun violence prevention program Monday. Credit: Ed Quinn

New York State’s governor, attorney general and mayor of its biggest city announced Monday that $485 million would be spent to avert gun violence, including an ongoing program to deploy “violence interrupters” such as reformed gang members to quell street beefs.

“They may have had time in jail, they may have been part of a gang. But they also know that they’re the ones who can be the trusted voice in a community, where young people will trust them more than they’re gonna trust the governor and the mayor,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

The violence interruption program supplements but does not supplant policing. “It’s not just a policing issue,” Hochul added.

What the three leaders announced prioritizes six of the city’s 77 NYPD police precincts — in the Bronx and Brooklyn — that have 25% of shooting incidents and 39% of confirmed shots fired last year, Mayor Eric Adams' office said in a news release.

"How can we stop the violence before it happens on our streets?" Adams said in releasing his gun violence prevention task force report, “A Blueprint for Community Safety.”

The money comes from the municipal budget, said Adams’ first deputy, Sheena Wright. The state contributed $6 million for the overall gun violence blueprint. 

Appearing together in lower Manhattan in the City Hall rotunda, the three leaders announced that the program would also fund early interventions such as mentorship, housing, help accessing public benefits, money for parks, public spaces, and playgrounds; employment, and mental illness treatment.

Attorney General Letitia James said she’s seen how shootings can ravage neighborhoods.

"We know that the daily shootings and gun-related deaths in New York City are mostly concentrated in a small portion of our neighborhoods, and they are disproportionately claiming young Black and brown men,“ she said.

She added, "And it’s unfortunate that people of color cannot do innocent and common things like going to a barbecue or a block party or walking to a park or going to school or walking around our neighborhood without the fear of gun violence.”

Asked whether the plan included specific target and percentage benchmarks to gauge the program's success, Adams said: "You want numbers? No, we don't have that."

He cited reports by the NYPD of recent decreases in certain categories of crimes such as shootings and homicides.

Afterward, Wright said the blueprint did include performance indicators, adding that specific goals for each of the target neighborhoods would be released in the coming weeks.

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