VIDA'S END LEAVES YOUTHS IN THE LURCH.
Byline: Patricia Farrell Aidem Staff Writer
SANTA CLARITA Santa Clarita, city (1990 pop. 110,642), Los Angeles co., S Calif., suburb 30 mi (48 km) NW of downtown Los Angeles, on the Santa Clara River; inc. 1987. Situated in the Santa Clara valley and nearby canyons, Santa Clarita includes the former towns of Canyon Country, - More than 300 Santa Clarita Valley The Santa Clarita Valley is the valley of the Santa Clara River in Southern California. It stretches through Los Angeles County and Ventura County. Its main population center is the city of Santa Clarita. The valley was part of the 48,612-acre (19,672. youths have graduated from VIDA VIDA Voluntad Independiente de Anzoátegui (Venezuela political party)
VIDA Voice Interoperability, Data and Access
VIDA Volumetric Imaging Display and Analysis , the sheriff's boot camp-style intervention program aimed at turning around kids headed for trouble.
And more than 85 percent of those graduates had stayed out of trouble since the program began three years ago, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. informal calculations by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department This article is about the Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department, not to be confused with the smaller Los Angeles County Police
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) is a local law enforcement agency that serves Los Angeles County, California. , said Sgt. Michael Griffin Michael Griffin can refer to:
VIDA - Vital Intervention and Directional Alternatives - fell last week to budget cuts by the Sheriff's Department. But advocates believe VIDA saved the department more than it cost by keeping hundreds of kids in line.
``That's our thinking, that if we get to the kids before they are in real trouble we're ahead of the game,'' Griffin said.
VIDA cost $100,000 at each of the 20 stations that participated, money that covered the salaries of the deputies who worked full time on the program. The expense was minor compared with the success of the program, said Deputy Tim Ferrone, who ran VIDA at the Santa Clarita Valley sheriff's station.
``VIDA's all about working with kids before they get in too deep,'' he said.
The end came suddenly, two days before a new session with 40 Santa Clarita kids, 11 to 17, and their families was scheduled to begin. Most had been on a waiting list.
``I get literally a call an hour in Santa Clarita from distraught parents who want to get their kids in the program,'' Ferrone said.
Hours after the announcement came down that the program was slashed, Ferrone heard from a county probation officer probation officer
1. An official usually attached to a juvenile court and charged with the care of juvenile delinquents.
2. An official charged with supervising convicts at large on suspended sentence or probation. who works with local youths.
``He has nowhere to send his kids now,'' Ferrone said. ``This is the only kind of program where we incorporate physical training with drug counseling and community service.''
Participants underwent stringent physical training with Marines who volunteered their time and took part in drug counseling.
The group had met Saturday for two hours in uniform - sweat pants and T-shirts with the VIDA logo - and weeded parks and paseos, spread mulch, placed sandbags sandbags
small sacks containing sand used to support an anesthetized animal in dorsal recumbency and prevent it from rolling sideways during anesthesia or surgery. to guard against erosion and took part in other public projects.
Ferrone said he went to VIDA participants' homes regularly, checked their bedrooms for any drugs, weapons or other problems, conducted random drug testing on site, monitored their clothing and music and offered on-the-spot counseling. Deputies even visited their schools to make sure the youths were attending class.
The department was refining a tracking system of graduates, but officials said informal surveys showed that fewer than 15 percent got in trouble again, Griffin said.
The cut came as a surprise because VIDA was the brainchild of Sheriff Lee Baca Leroy David Baca (b. May 27 1942, East Los Angeles, California) is the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, California.
After graduating from Benjamin Franklin High School (Los Angeles) in 1960, Baca worked his way through East Los Angeles College before starting with the L.A. . The sheriff, however, faces deep budget cuts in his department and has said layoffs are likely. VIDA deputies were needed on regular patrols to make up for any lost positions.
``This program was conceived by Lee Baca,'' Ferrone said. ``During the last budget cuts, it was suggested it might get cut, but they kept the funding - this was his baby. Nobody really thought he was going to cut this.''