SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– With the increase in gun violence across the state and right here in Syracuse, Governor Cuomo is deploying his resources to solve the problem after declaring it a state emergency.
State Department of Labor Commissioner, Roberta Reardon paid a visit to Syracuse Thursday to meet with local leaders about how to stop gun violence using the three-prong approach.
This includes offering more job opportunities to youth and teens, providing wrap-around community enrichment services and violence interrupters.
The state plans to expand the already existing summer youth employment program for 15-24-year-olds in school by over 100 jobs. They also plan to expand skills assessment and training services for those ages 18-24 years old in the full-time employment program for 150 young people.
Commissioner Reardon said while these components are critical pieces, engaging the people on the ground already doing the work is key to making this a community-wide experience.
“There may be a shooter and a victim but that’s only a piece of it, we want to reach out to those to stop the violence but we also want to help the families, we want to heal the community, the community is battered by this violence and we want everybody that does this work already to work with us,” she said.
Reardon also said by adding more violence interrupters, people who respond immediately after a shooting to provide support to the victim and/or the shooter, they hope to stop the cycle of retaliation.
“We’re here to make a difference and we’re here to change this cycle so when a kid gets shot in the playground we want to interrupt that violence right there, we want to work with the shooter we want to work with the family that got damaged and we want to work with the community to help them understand that the answer is not getting your crew and going after that person because that doesn’t end well for anybody,” Reardon said.
These meetings are happening all over the state to gather information from cities and Reardon said once the information is collected the state’s goal is to analyze it and figure out what issues are the same across the board and what issues are specific to individual cities.
This is just one way the state is working with local municipalities to curb gun violence. On Saturday, July 24 the state will be hosting a gun buyback program at St. Lucy’s Pantry on Gifford Street from 10 am-2 pm to get more guns off the street in exchange for gift cards and other items.