Local leaders struggle to stop the cycle of violence

Oneida County has been putting kids to work for decades, through their Summer Youth Employment Program. Still, some wind up in the headlines.

Posted: Jul 7, 2021 6:10 PM


Governor Cuomo is promising millions for jobs to keep kids off the streets and on a productive track.

"We have to get everyone, the business leaders, the labor community, the govt and we have to create jobs to get these kids off the street. NYS will pay 100% of the salary," said Governor Cuomo, during a press conference Tuesday.

Oneida County has been putting kids to work for decades, through their Summer Youth Employment Program. Still, some wind up in the headlines. Daryun Prescod showed up, neatly dressed, and did the job in 2015. He was shot in the leg in 2020, then went on to face serious charges a few months later, in Florida, including carjacking with a deady weapon. There were for shootings in Utica since Saturday, two of them fatal. In one, a 15-year-old is accused of the murder of a 14-year-old, who county officials say was signed up for a Summer Youth Employment Program job.

"It's what happens afterwards. That's always the case, you can only control so much of what we have in front of us," says County Executive, Anthony Picente, also pointing out that you can't help the ones who don't show up.

"There were times when we had over 1000 kids in the general summer youth program, now we're down to 3/400, says Picente. "If the kids aren't there to do it, what do you do?"

Picente says the vast majority of kids who do show up and work for SYEP are success stories.

"Number of shining examples of kids that end up going on to college, where maybe they weren't going to initially or didn't think they could, or, between college and working for local employers," says Picente.

Utica's police chief says the violence has become cyclical and hard to stop.

"I've been on this job now 33 1/2 years and what I'm seeing is the same people we had problems with with gun violence in the last generation, now it's been passed on to the new generations. Sad. Just can't seem to find their way out of it."

The county executive will sit down with youth bureau officials and decide how to best spend an increase in state funding.

"What else we can do with it and whether or not we also put it into other type of programming or other educational programs and try to keep them active on a year-round basis."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2382450

Reported Deaths: 54983
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings31801110729
Queens30525510139
Suffolk2271813515
Nassau2063723251
Bronx2016276692
New York1612914603
Westchester1406262328
Erie988711881
Richmond855581903
Monroe778961155
Orange54422887
Rockland50818768
Onondaga45732713
Dutchess33716484
Albany28365368
Oneida25714546
Niagara22094382
Broome21664385
Saratoga18388187
Ulster16310271
Schenectady15251215
Rensselaer13276154
Putnam1180896
Chautauqua10909156
Oswego9588101
Chemung9021145
St. Lawrence8864115
Ontario850797
Steuben8342157
Cayuga7907100
Sullivan778781
Jefferson744271
Wayne693978
Cattaraugus671096
Genesee6045129
Herkimer5989117
Tompkins592659
Clinton565534
Madison538697
Fulton529897
Livingston516366
Montgomery5076133
Cortland481170
Warren468476
Columbia4632108
Tioga438567
Chenango416886
Otsego416251
Allegany400092
Greene393883
Washington392662
Wyoming390154
Orleans361184
Franklin351216
Lewis317736
Delaware305640
Seneca246759
Schoharie207220
Essex193429
Yates139626
Schuyler127716
Hamilton4073
Unassigned13436
Out of NY0288
Utica
Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 79°
Oneonta
Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 72°
Herkimer
Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 79°
Old Forge
Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 79°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
NEW Game Day Deals each week
Follow the 2021 Go the Distance Team - sponsored by Gilroy Kernan & Gilroy
Chapter Photofacial Therapy Giveaway
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve