Police in Newburgh are hoping to reduce gun violence after a significant increase in shots fired.

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The City of Newburgh Police Department announced the start of what's described as an "enforcement surge" in hopes of reducing gun violence, gun-related incidents and increasing the quality of life for its residents.

“The residents, business owners, property owners and visitors should be able to live and work in a community without the fear of gun violence or being exposed to large groups of individuals hanging out for illicit means endangering the safety of our community.” Lieutenant Kevin Lahar said.

Over the last several months there's been a large increase in shots fired incidents, police say. Officials responded to 88 calls for service related to shots fired, an increase of 63 percent.

Additionally, there has been a significant increase in complaints from residents reporting large groups loitering in neighborhoods that are hindering the quality of life for residents and contributing to an increase in gun-related calls for service, officials say.

On Saturday, May 3 there were nearly 40 gunshots with over 55 gunshots during the entire weekend, according to police.

In a joint and coordinated effort, the City of Newburgh Police Department will partner with members of the New York State Police, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the FBI’s Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force in hopes of limiting gunfire.

“My office is dedicated to assisting the City of Newburgh Police Department in maintaining order, preventing crime, and holding criminal offenders accountable. I view this renewed joint initiative as picking up right where we left off last year after record crime reduction in the past four years” - District Attorney David M. Hoovler stated.

Anyone who sees suspicious or criminal behavior is asked to call the City of Newburgh Police Department at (845) 561-3131.

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