The city of Binghamton is expected to use some of its federal Covid-19 relief funds to respond to the escalating number of shootings this year.

Mayor Jared Kraham's announcement of the new initiative came about two weeks after 12-year-old Aliza Spencer was killed in a shooting that happened while she walked near her home with her father and brother. No arrests have been made in the case.

A man was shot at a home on Binghamton's South Side last Saturday morning and a gun battle involving several people erupted Tuesday afternoon on a First Ward street.

Police on Oak Street following a First Ward shootout on May 3, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
Police on Oak Street following a First Ward shootout on May 3, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

The number of confirmed reports of "shots fired" this year is nearly double compared to the same period in 2021. So far in 2022, Kraham said there have been 18 reported incidents compared to 10 last year.

Kraham said more funding will be provided for the police department's Community Response Team to pay for additional foot and bicycle patrols. Outreach efforts are planned to "strengthen relationships between law enforcement and residents."

Gun buyback events will be held around the city in conjunction with churches, community centers and nonprofit groups.

Money also will be made available for neighborhood watch groups and small businesses to "address crime concerns and support community safety events like National Night Out."

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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