Picente Announces Youth Development and Violence Prevention Coalition

YDVPC Next Step in Community Involvement in Youth Development and Violence Prevention

County Executive Anthony J. Picente announced today the creation of the Oneida County Youth Development and Violence Coalition. The YDVPC will be created by the current Oneida County Youth Services Council. The announcement was made today at the Annual State of Oneida County Youth Development Council Annual Meeting.

The YDVPC will focus on prevention, intervention and suppression efforts that will assist the Oneida County Youth Services Council.  Also, released at the annual meeting was the 2013 Oneida County Gang Reassessment Study.

Anthony J. Picente Jr. said “The creation of this coalition is the next step in a community partnership success story that aims to build on the accomplishments of the Oneida County Youth Services Council. Through partnerships with Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol, Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara, the Oneida County Departments of Probation and Social Services and Office of Mental Health, Youth Bureau as well as Utica Safe Schools, local law enforcement and others we will work to make Oneida County a safe place to raise their families.”

Anne Lansing, Executive Director of Utica Safe Schools and President of the Oneida County Youth Services Council said "The updated assessment that is being provided today recognizes the progress made in reducing youth violence and enhancing youth development. The partnerships and programs that have been implemented as a result of the last report show the difference that can be made to help youth in our community. It also highlights the need for us to keep our proactive approach, notice the changes that occur to challenge our community and respond so that we provide the best environment for positive youth development for our whole community"

The creation of programs since 2005 including the Underground Café, Initial Response Team, Truancy Reduction Program and the  Arrest Diversion Program have shown to be successful in prevention, intervention and suppression efforts in Utica and will look to be expanded throughout the county. These programs are partnerships between Non-Profits like Utica safe schools, School Districts, Oneida County Government departments such as, Department of Social Services, Probation, Mental Health, Youth Buruea and others as well as the Oneida County Sheriff and Local Law Enforcement.

Lansing also added “The new Oneida County Youth Development and Violence Prevention Coalition will be a partnership of the area's community based organizations, school district representatives, government agency staff and law enforcement officials who will be coming together to develop the new programs, strategies and tactics necessary to address the issues raised in the new assessment and continue the progress made in our county in reducing youth violence and increasing opportunities for positive youth development. The goal is to keep kids off of the streets and in school, while providing them with good opportunities so that we can promote a safe community for everyone.”

Anthony J. Picente Jr. went on to say “We have seen partnerships with local government, county government, the state of New York, School Districts and non-profit organizations like Utica Safe Schools have successl in developing our youth and preventing youth violence. Now is the time to ramp up these efforts and that’s what we have announced here today.”

Oneida County Gang Assessment Task Force Report