KINGSTON – Violent crime has been surging across America, and Ulster County has felt that pain.
Now county elected and law enforcement officials will implement Anti-Violence Effort Response Teams (AVERT), a proactive approach to help stem the upward surge in crime.
“I think it’s very critical that we very directly and clearly say that we must bring an end to this escalating cycle of violence,” said County Executive Pat Ryan. “They will be laser focused on really disrupting and ultimately ending the cycle of violence and violent crime across the county.”
Intelligence will be used to track guns entering communities, and GED, school counseling, housing and mental health services will be utilized to help at-risk individuals.
Ryan said the county’s general fund will help pay for these services, and Kingston Mayor Steve Noble will ask the city’s common council to hire three new full-time police officers to help with this effort.
“We know in the community who these individuals are. Because there’s no active cases against them, we are waiting for them to do something. Instead of waiting, this program (will help) find these individuals and change their behavior – and perhaps save some lives,” said Sheriff Juan Figueroa “If it doesn’t work, and you commit a crime in the City of Kingston, Ellenville or Ulster County, you’ll be held accountable. It is as simple as that.”