BELLPORT - Officials in Suffolk have declared June "Gun Violence Awareness Month."

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone says the move to create an awareness month is important because it is a significant issue today.

According to the state Bureau of Criminal Statistics, Long Island saw 689 gun violence-related crimes last year. The report says 19 people lost their lives during the same period.

Bellone says he is hoping that Congress will reach a deal on gun control soon.

For more on the announcement, watch the full news conference to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.