The SNUG program is coming to Utica, Syracuse, and select cities throughout New York.

Governor Kathy Hochul made the announcement virtually during a SNUG training session at the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany on Wednesday.

"We're using every resource at our disposal to save lives and stop the gun violence that is plaguing too many communities across our state," Governor Hochul said. "Through the SNUG Street Outreach program, violence interrupters will be deployed into communities to mediate conflict, mentor youth and work with local partners to make our streets safer. We will continue to take strong action and employ creative solutions to end gun violence and keep New Yorkers safe."

SNUG, which is "GUNS" spelled backwards, is administered by the State Department of Criminal Justice Services and aims to reduce gun violence statewide.

The Street Outreach program focuses on community engagement, mentoring youth and providing counseling and support to address trauma resulting from long-term exposure to gun violence.

The group of 29 street outreach workers, hospital responders, social workers and case managers are the first to train at the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Services' State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany.

Officials say street outreach workers are seen as credible messengers, as many of them have been involved with the criminal justice system and live in the communities in which they work.

Hochul’s 2023 budget proposal triples resources for gun violence prevention and expands the SNUG program to Utica, Niagara Falls and Schenectady.

The SNUG program is also in Albany, Syracuse, Buffalo, Hempstead, Mt Vernon, Newburgh, Rochester, Troy, Yonkers and Poughkeepsie.

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