Buffalo, Niagara Falls Get Anti-Gun Violence Funds

October 14, 2010 Updated Oct 14, 2010 at 5:19 PM EDT

By WKBW Internet

October 14, 2010 Updated Oct 14, 2010 at 5:19 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - A new program aims to keep staff on the streets to stop shootings before they start.

Over the past 5 days alone, there have been a handful of homicides in the city of Buffalo. Of the 48 homicides in Buffalo so far this year, 36 were committed with guns.

Today, several community leaders say a new initiative will help end the violence in Buffalo and in Niagara Falls. Operation SNUG is "guns" spelt backwards. It's a statewide program designed to stop arguments before they escalate.

Operation SNUG is made possible by a 500 thousand dollar grant secured by Senator Antoine Thompson. That money will be used to pay several volunteers from Buffalo and Niagara Falls organizations such as People with Possibilities, Stop the Violence Coalition, and Back to Basics Outreach Ministries.

Several Operation SNUG workers just returned from training in Chicago where they learned techniques from Ceasefire, a successful anti-violence organization there.

While 500 thousand dollars is a good start, Senator Thompson expects the program and the funding to grow.