GIVE program aims to reduce gun violence in Rochester

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Rochester is now a GIVE city, which stands for “gun involved violence elimination”. It’s a New York State program to help reduce gun violence in cities seeing a spike.

GIVE uses multiple strategies including deterrence. Police work with people who are known to be involved in gun crimes, warn them about the possible consequences, and help them toward a different life. Social workers connect them with a GED and college prep, job training, mental health, and substance abuse treatment.

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Rochester Police Captain Sam Lucyshyn says the response to GIVE has been great. He told News10NBC about one person who was open to the program’s help.

“When we spoke with that person we conducted a custom notification,” Lucyshyn said. “We said, hey, we know you are involved with this activity. We know you are involved with a group of people that are engaged in this activity and we want you to know that there are alternatives. You don’t need to continue this lifestyle. The person said to us, yes, I would like to get out of the gang life. Please help me.”

RPD Lieutenant Greg Bello shared text messages that officers have received from people involved in the GIVE program.

The messages appear to show two people making progress in getting a job and working toward their GED. Captain Lucyshyn says this is major. It isn’t easy to get people to this point, since it often requires reaching out to people several times before getting a response.