13 cities in California share gang violence prevention strategies: first gang prevention network meeting highlights successes and challenges ahead.Municipal leaders, law enforcement officials and community partners from 13 California cities came together in Oakland, Calif., last week to identify and share strategies for reducing gang violence and victimization victimization Social medicine The abuse of the disenfranchised–eg, those underage, elderly, ♀, mentally retarded, illegal aliens, or other, by coercing them into illegal activities–eg, drug trade, pornography, prostitution. in their communities.
The newly created California Cities Gang Prevention Network seeks to support these efforts by strengthening collaboration between and among city teams and helping them shape comprehensive local action plans. The network is sponsored by NLC's Institute for Youth, Education, and Families and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD NCCD National Council on Crime and Delinquency
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At the meeting, city teams discussed potential ways of confronting the gang problem by weaving together prevention, intervention, enforcement and a strong community voice into more comprehensive and effective strategies to reduce gang violence and victimization.
In opening the network meeting, John Calhoun John Calhoun may refer to
San Jose San Jose, city, United States
San Jose (sănəzā`, săn hōzā`), city (1990 pop. 782,248), seat of Santa Clara co., W central Calif.; founded 1777, inc. 1850. officials shared the progress of its Mayor's Gang Prevention Task Force. Co-chaired by Mayor Chuck Reed and Police Chief Robert Davis, the task force brings together city, county, state and community leaders and has reduced youth violent crime by haft, cut the school dropout (1) On magnetic media, a bit that has lost its strength due to a surface defect or recording malfunction. If the bit is in an audio or video file, it might be detected by the error correction circuitry and either corrected or not, but if not, it is often not noticed by the human rate and reduced commitments to Juvenile Hall and foster care. Santa Rosa Mayor Bob Blanchard created a similar task force in 2004 to respond to increased gang activity through targeted outreach, counseling and job training for at-risk youth.
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders recently announced the creation of a Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention to develop a more strategic, coordinated and collaborative effort between the city, law enforcement, service providers and the public.
In Los Angeles, the city sponsored San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley
Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills. Coalition on Gangs, which was instrumental in empowering neighborhoods to reduce gang-related homicides between 2001 and 2005, now faces new challenges as gang violence and crime increase.
"It is so important to have the mayor and chief of police leading the effort," said Chief Davis. "Their personal involvement sends a powerful message to political leaders and the larger community that this effort is serious and important."
Leaders from Fresno, Salinas and San Francisco also described unique intervention strategies that encompassed truancy reduction, afterschool af·ter·school
adj. often after-school
1. Taking place immediately following school classes: afterschool activities.
2. programs, tattoo removal, reentry reentry n. taking back possession and going into real property which one owns, particularly when a tenant has failed to pay rent or has abandoned the property, or possession has been restored to the owner by judgment in an unlawful detainer lawsuit. of youth from the juvenile justice system and using street workers to reach out directly to gang members.
Working Toward Prevention
During the meeting's second day, cities shared prevention strategies that reach children at young ages. While some efforts respond to a culture of violence, others focus on preventing bullying and child abuse.
For instance, the City of Oakland and Alameda County Public Health Department have formed the Oakland Gang Prevention and Intervention Providers Network to educate the public on gang prevention, coordinate service provision, collaborate on best practices and make policy recommendations. The city has also dedicated funds to support services support services Psychology Non-health care-related ancillary services–eg, transportation, financial aid, support groups, homemaker services, respite services, and other services for families and friends of homicide victims and for parent education programs for families with at-risk elementary and middle school students.
Oxnard Police Chief John Crombach described his city's efforts to advance a prevention strategy by expanding access to preschool programs, family support services, and tutoring and mentoring for at-risk children and youth.
"We are not going to arrest our way out of this problem," said Oxnard Mayor Thomas Holden. "Without prevention and intervention, it's not going to work."
Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue echoed this view. "We have done a lot of things well in the suppression and intervention areas," he noted. "More and more people in our community are now talking about prevention."
Attention turned later to enforcement strategies from Sacramento, Richmond, Stockton and San Bernardino. Periodic sweeps to get known gang members off the street, close coordination with probation and federal law enforcement officers, and efforts to restrict access to guns are among the tactics utilized to combat gang violence.
The meeting gave city teams ample opportunities to discuss what is and is not working, integrate new ideas and frame local action plans for moving forward. The teams will continue to develop and share knowledge with each other during the three-year project.
With guidance from a statewide advisory board, NLC NLC National League of Cities
NLC National Library of Canada
NLC National Library of China
NLC Northern Lights College (British Columbia, Canada)
NLC North Lake College (Irving, Texas) and NCCD will develop a resource bank of information, publish monthly bulletins and strategic briefs on lessons learned and provide on-site technical assistance to participating cities. In addition, network cities will identify policy changes that could be made at the state and federal level to support local efforts.
"Many young people engage in violence due to issues of respect. We must re-establish in our communities a basic respect for human dignity, for all human life," said Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums. "When you ask young people why they act out the way they do, they say they are emulating us! The children are watching us. As adults, we must begin to set a better example."
About the California Gang Prevention Network
"Violent crime and the well-being of young people are key priorities for city leaders in communities across America," said NLC President and Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson in announcing the creation of the network. "This groundbreaking, California-focused effort will help mayors, police chiefs, and their community partners forge more effective strategies to prevent gang violence, while also generating important new lessons that NLC will share nationwide."
NLC launched the network in response to widespread concern regarding gang violence and a spike in violent crime taking place in many larger cities across the state and the nation. FBI and California Department of Justice statistics show that violent crime rose 3.7 percent nationally and 4.1 percent in California in the first six months of 2006 compared with the same time period in 2005.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's National Youth Gang Survey, in 2004, approximately one-fourth of all homicides in 171 cities with populations above 100,000 were considered gang-related. These numbers exclude Los Angeles and Chicago, where more than half of homicides involved gangs.
David M. Kennedy
Network member cities include Fresno, Los Angeles, Oakland, Oxnard, Richmond, Sacramento, Salinas, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Rosa and Stockton. Led by the mayor's office and law enforcement officials, each city is represented by a team of five to eight people that includes stakeholders such as school leaders, probation and public health officers, and representatives of community and faith organizations.
Funding for the network has been provided by the California Wellness Foundation, the California Endowment, East Bay Community Foundation, and Richmond Children's Foundation. The California Office of the Attorney General and the City of Oakland provided additional support for this inaugural network meeting.
Details: To learn more about the California Cities Gang Prevention Network, visit www.nlc.org/iyef or contact Leon Andrews at (202) 626-3039 or email@example.com.