Skip to content

Albany SNUG Program Struggles with Funding

March 18, 2013

Barbara Smith Council Member of the 4th Ward of the City of Albany, NY.

by Lauren Klose

A city resident and Common Council gadfly Monday night asked the city to move the SNUG anti-gun program under the auspices of the police department. SNUG works to keep guns off the street but the program is struggling.

The violence intervention initiative works to reduce the number of shootings and gun related deaths in the Albany area. It is run by the nonprofit organization Trinity Alliance. The idea was originally modeled after the Chicago CeaseFire program and formed after years of gang violence and shootings leaving Albany residents in both fear and rage.

“SNUG has been a very successful initiative in the city of Albany in preventing violence since 2010,” said council member Barbara Smith of the 4th ward in the city of Albany.

However, at the Common Council meeting Monday, Marlon Anderson a resident of Albany, said the program is struggling. “I don’t think we would have the problems we have if we kept it on solid ground,” said Anderson.

In 2011 the program was closed for about a month, because of state budget cuts. With the country in recession, many programs, especially ones run by the community seem to be suffering from severe budget cuts. SNUG was re-started with the help of the state which gave about $150,000 to help the program get back on its feet in early winter of 2011.

Anderson’s suggestion is to fold the program and put it into the Albany Police Department’s budget in order to ensure it won’t close again and receives the necessary funding.

If the program fails again hundreds of thousand of dollars will have been wasted for no reason, said Anderson. Every year the program continues to struggle because of budget cuts.

Anderson said that SNUG should get the same level of support that the Police Athletic League gets which never seems to have a problem with funding. “It can not stand alone, it needs something to stand on,” said Anderson.

The program has  received funding since it was restarted in 2011. “We’re pleased that the city has shown it’s support for SNUG by appropriating $150,000 in both the 2012 and 2013 budget,” said Smith.

Anderson’s suggestion to move SNUG under the Albany Police Department would give SNUG a steady and solid ground for funding.

Smith, however, did not believe that this could be a possibility. She argued that moving the program into the police department would jeopardize the independence of SNUG, which is a necessity.

A spokesman for the Albany Police Department did not return a call Monday night on the subject.

SNUG uses the public health approach to help prevent violence in Albany. It strives to educate the public through campaigns that address the fact that the shooting occurring in the Albany area and anywhere are unacceptable. It also teams up with other community founded and based organizations as well as the faith leaders of the area and the Albany Police Department. More importantly the program tries to pay attention to those who are at a higher risk for violence with guns. They try to offer and guide these individuals toward a more positive path and future.

The program has different committees to focus on more specific areas of the problem of gun violence. Some of these include Mobilization & Outreach, Team Leaders and Violence Interrupters.

“I represent Arbor Hill which is one of the neighborhoods that is very much affected by gun violence and SNUG has made a significant difference,” said Smith.-30-


From → General

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: