Newburgh SNUG working to reduce gun violence

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Orenzo Charles of Newburgh SNUG in the foreground..

NEWBURGH – The SNUG (guns spelled backward) program returned to Newburgh in September of 2020 under the RECAP umbrella and is claiming success in reducing gun violence in the city.

As of Friday, April 15, there have been no incidents of gun violence for 97 days in the downtown area of Newburgh, according to SNUG.  “We’ve been hitting the streets hard,” said Orenzo Charles of SNUG.   Proud of the peace, Charles also said “Ninety-seven days of nobody being shot in the hottest areas of the City of Newburgh shows that our methods work.”  SNUG is focusing on the downtown area that has had numerous incidents of gun violence in the past several years.

SNUG uses conflict mediation and crisis intervention to prevent gun violence from occurring.  The program employs individuals with a prior criminal history of either gun or gang violence to act as credible messengers to reach out to city residents between the ages of 14 and 24 to encourage a lifestyle that does not include gun violence or gang participation.  The SNUG program targets the 14-24 age group because their research showed those ages to be the most vulnerable to gun violence.