In-Depth: Agency promised as part of gun violence disaster emergency still not set up

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A new agency announced three months ago to direct resources to areas seeing a spike in shootings is still not set up.

Former governor Andrew Cuomo declared a first-in-the-nation "disaster emergency" around gun violence in July.

He directed the state to collect data on gun violence from police agencies weekly, and report this to a new agency within the health department, called the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, but so far — there is no record of the new agency on the Department of Health’s website.

That was the first point of the seven-point plan that Cuomo outlined when he first declared the disaster emergency.

The other points included:

  • Tracking hotspots and directing more resources to them. Those initial hotspots included New York City, Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse, and Long Island.
  • Engaging at-risk youth with summer job programs. Rochester received $2.25 million for those programs.
  • Creating a hospital-based violence intervention program in hotspot communities.
  • Creating a new Gun Trafficking Interdiction Unit within the New York State Police to get illegal guns off the street.
  • The same day that he announced the disaster emergency, he signed a bill prohibiting anyone with an active warrant from buying a gun in New York State.
  • Rebuilding police-community relationships.

At the time it was announced, the plan was said to cost $138.7 million.

A spokesperson for Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office says the launch is in its initial stages.

Hochul did extend the disaster emergency through at least Oct. 23.