To finally put an end to the spread of illegal guns in the state of New York, Governor Kathy Hochul hosted an interstate gun task force on Wednesday.
According to reports, law enforcement officials and representatives from nine Northeastern states gathered to find solutions to the gun problem in New York.
The group dubbed as Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns conducted their meeting at the New York State Intelligence Center in East Greenbush.
“We have a moral obligation to do everything we can to fight the scourge of illegal guns on our street,” Hochul said.
“Too many lives have been lost because of illegal firearms that should never have been on our streets,” Hochul added.
Joining Hochul in the meeting are Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin and the representatives from the New York State Police, the NYPD, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and other law enforcement agencies from New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, Ohio, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New Hampshire.
Hochul said the main role of the task force is to focus on setting up information-sharing systems and finding ways to share intelligence and tactics while partnering with prosecutors and law enforcement agencies in different states and regions.
“What we have to focus on is real-time gathering of intelligence. Not wait a couple of days, not wait until a lab is finished analyzing, real-time, immediate response,” she said.
In the meeting, Hochul also announced the appointment of Calliana Thomas as the director of the New York State Office of Gun Violence Prevention.
She revealed that the new office will be a subsidiary of the Health Department’s Center for Community Health.
She added that it will work with the Division of Criminal Justice Services and other agencies to “coordinate efforts and direct resources to existing and emerging gun violence hotspots.”
Moreover, in the meeting, Hochul also highlighted several of her budget proposals to tackle gun violence, including nearly $9 million in funding for the New York State Police to hire new recruits, gun crime tracing analysts, social media analysts, and computer crime experts.
The governor has also called for nearly $4 million to invest in equipment and software for a computer and cybercrimes unit within the state police.