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Major Crimes Bureau

Major Crimes Bureau handles gun-involved cases, including possession, assault and homicide, from investigation through disposition. Nothing is more destructive of the peace and tranquility of our communities than gun violence. The SCDA Major Crimes Bureau works closely with law enforcement partners to share information and implement strategies not only to solve and prosecute crimes that have already occurred, but also to prevent gun-involved violence in Schenectady County. The Bureau works with the SCDA Victim Services Unit to address the concerns of gun violence victims and to ensure that they have access to all available resources and remedies.

Although the bureau uses a wide variety of modern methods to prove its cases such as video, cellular phone data and social media materials, working with civilian witnesses to gun-involved crimes will always be of the utmost importance to the attorneys of Major Crimes. The Bureau works tirelessly to develop relationships of trust with witnesses and victims and to maintain their privacy and security. Although the majority of Major Crimes cases are serious in nature and warrant substantial sentences, the Bureau makes individual assessments of cases and sometimes pursues sentences that are rehabilitative in nature where appropriate, for example, cases in which no victim was injured and where the defendant was young, had a history of mental illness and/or minimal criminal history. In the absence of such circumstances, however, we take an exceedingly serious view of unlawful gun possession and strive to see that defendants convicted of such offenses receive substantial sentences. Cases in which perpetrators fire guns are the most dangerous and damaging to the community. Accordingly, the attorneys place special focus on pursuing shooting and shots fired cases. 

Gun Involved Violence Elimination (G.I.V.E.) Program

The New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) continues to be an excellent leader in the state and partner with the District Attorney’s Office, offering funding, training, and support.  The efforts and programs that we have developed with the funding provided through the annual GIVE Grant over the last 10 years has been extraordinary.  The DA’s Office has worked with our law enforcement partners including the Sheriff’s Office, the County Probation Department, and the Schenectady Police Department to create and maintain a program for the community to reduce gun violence.

Schenectady Strong


All the partner agencies worked together to create Schenectady STRONG (Support The Right chOice, No Gun-violence).  The program includes work by the four partner agencies to maintain current data regarding any violent actors on our streets, their associates, and the areas of activities.  These “hot people” and “hot places” receive particular attention.  People who are deemed to be at risk of engaging in gun violence have been brought in to group call-ins or have been visited by a police and probation team to be individually warned and offered support. All efforts are made to turn people away from violent gun activity, to choose a different positive path, to make choices away from violence.  In addition, they are steered toward services that include, education, employment and support services and training.  The effectiveness of the program was documented through a study by the FINN Institute, which found that there was a 48% reduction in gun violence in our community with the introduction and implementation of the program. 

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