State and local leaders meet to discuss gun violence prevention


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — State and local leaders met at the Delavan Grider Community Center for a round table discussion on how to prevent ongoing gun violence across Western New York.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul led Thursday’s round table. She says the state plans to target the ongoing gun violence the same way they did with COVID-19 infections — by looking through data.

Hochul says the state has narrowed down 10 zip codes in the city of Buffalo where they’re seeing about 50% of the violence. The plan is to focus on the at-risk youth in those areas by finding them through the Stop the Violence and the Peacekeepers groups and work on finding them a job and getting them off the streets.

Hochul says much of the discussion focused on prevention and now getting kids in these areas employed can help break the gun violence cycle.

“We’re focused on this by a number of approaches but today is about giving young people in these neighborhoods a better outcome, giving them an opportunity to do something beyond life in the streets which ends up in harm and possible death,” Lt. Governor Hochul said.

The lieutenant governor says there are nearly 1,000 jobs – including summer and long-term employment opportunities – that are available to the at-risk young people in the 10 zip codes. The state is setting aside money toward training for these jobs.

Hochul says extracurricular activities outside of jobs and school are also needed to keep kids off the streets, and that’s something local groups are looking into.

Marlee Tuskes is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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