CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that shootings in Elmira declined 23% year to year after receiving incomplete information from Elmira PD. The correct information has been added.
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – New data from Elmira Police shows shooting incidents in the City rose by 12% during the first half of the year, after analyzing both confirmed and unconfirmed shootings. Lt. Yuri Charlanow, the commander of the Elmira P.D. Detective Bureau said initial data provided to 18 News following Freedom of Information requests only showed 13 confirmed shootings, and left out unconfirmed shootings. Lt. Charlanow said a records clerk made an honest mistake because the department is using a new database system.
“So, under the old system, we were not able to differentiate between confirmed gunshots and unconfirmed gunshots,” said Lt. Charlanow. “With the new system we were able to differentiate between the two and I think we provided you data that was for confirmed shootings for this year. We have a number of unconfirmed shootings for this year.”
Lt. Charlanow says there were also 24 unconfirmed shootings in Elmira, where detectives answered a call but were not able to find shell casings, victims or other evidence. That raises the total number of shooting incidents to 37 during the first six months of the year. That’s a 12% increase when compared to the same time last year.
The State of New York recently awarded Elmira Police a grant to participate in the GIVE Initiative, which stands for the Gun Involved Violence Elimination project.
“It’s a huge help. It’s two additional officers to really focus their efforts on this problem. It’s been a recurring problem, but it’s continuing to get worse and it’s not just here. It’s across the country. Everyone’s experiencing an uptick in violent crime. It’s no secret” said Lt. Charlanow.
“There’s been a lot of changes with the discovery laws and victims are less willing to come forward and cooperate in these incidents due to fear of retribution. And you know, criminals are getting smarter. They know to hand off the gun, to wipe it down, to pick up shell casings, that type of thing. We’re finding a more sophisticated criminal.”
You can watch the full interview with Lt. Charlanow below: