SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) made a stop in Syracuse Monday morning to discuss the rise in gun violence in Central New York and across the state.

Standing at the Southwest Community Center with city officials, community violence interrupters and advocates, Senator Schumer announced the latest push to combat violent crime.

Just last week, the Department of Justice launched the new “Community Violence Intervention” (CVI) initiative, a first of its kind grant program aimed at reducing gun violence through intervention.

Schumer said he is pushing to quadruple the amount of money for the program, calling for the administration’s request for $250 million as a down payment to be fully funded to help reduce violence in Syracuse and other communities across the state.

Syracuse residents know far too well how gun violence continues to impact our communities. This is a crisis that we can and must solve, and one of the best ways to reduce violence is by increasing the resources available to local organizers, getting youth in underserved communities off the streets, and providing individuals the support necessary to get on the right track. Community-based Violence Intervention programs have been extremely effective in Syracuse, and that’s why I’m fighting to bolster this funding so these lifesaving programs can be strengthened and expanded like never before.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D)

Speaking alongside Senator Schumer was Sharon Owens, Syracuse’s deputy mayor. She stressed there isn’t one solution to gun violence, and prevention and intervention are key.

That is the work of so many of the individuals behind here. The clergy, the community centers, the district to prevent individuals and young people from making the choice, and if they find themselves engaged in that community and in that lifestyle, what are the alternatives? What this will provide is that alternative you can’t ask the young person to put the gun down if you’re not offering them something else in return.

Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens, City of Syracuse

Deputy Mayor Owens added many community programs are stretched thin. She said funding like this will bolster resources and build a safety net for more kids and teens in the city of Syracuse.

The city of Syracuse intends on serving as the lead for the federal grant application and then will bring various community partners together, according to Deputy Owens.

Community Violence Intervention grants will be funded through the FY22 Appropriations Bill. Applications for the funding are now open and close Tuesday, June 21. Click here for more information.