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December 10, 2013 > San Leandro and surrounding communities awarded CalGrip grant

San Leandro and surrounding communities awarded CalGrip grant

Submitted By San Leandro PD

The City of San Leandro- Police Department is pleased to announce that it will receive an award of $500,000 from the Gang Reduction, Intervention, and Prevention initiative (Cal GRIP). The Cal GRIP initiative is designed to address the increased presence of gangs across the state and their proliferation in suburban and rural areas. With assistance from REACH, the City of San Leandro secured Cal GRIP funding for the next two years. The current award is part of a total of 9.2 million in competitive grants that were awarded to 20 cities in California that face challenges from gang violence.

The 2013 Cal GRIP award will fund the implementation of diversion and after school programs in the City of San Leandro. The programs would include education, prevention and gang enforcement. A key to the project will be increasing the collaboration between community and law enforcement in addressing the problem of gang violence. Core partners in the project include the City of San Leandro Police Department, Alameda County Juvenile Probation, Reach Ashland Youth Center, Alameda County Deputy SherriffÕs Activity League and the Alameda County SherriffÕs Office.

We are ecstatic that California's leadership believed in our ideas and they were willing to award us the necessary funds to make our visions come true. Chief Sandra Spagnoli stated, "Community partnerships are key to public safety and protecting our youth from being enticed by joining an organized street gang. CalGrip funding is an investment in San Leandro youth which will pay off in the future through programs and initiatives designed to keep kids and families on the right track.Ó

"We are grateful to receive substantial funding to boost our efforts in guiding our youth to not become involved in gang activity," stated Mayor Stephen Cassidy. "I congratulate our Police Department and all who worked on obtaining the grant for their success and thank them for their efforts in assisting our youth make sound career and life decisions."

Pedro Naranjo, Executive Director REACH Ashland Youth Center stated, Òwe want to see young people living in safe neighborhoods where they can walk the streets safely. We want to see young people graduate from high school, make it to college and have career opportunities. We want to see less young people struggling to raise children before they are ready. We think these changes are possible. Creating a supportive community that has real alternatives to gangs and violence, and help to get youth out of gangs is essential for creating these changes. The regional collaboration that has come together to create the REACH Ð OUT: Gang Prevention and Intervention Project will help make these changes come true.Ó

Johri Vassilisa, Director of Health and Wellness at the Reach Ashland Youth Center stated, ÒGang interventions are not simple fixes. Young people turn to gangs in search of something missing in their lives - they want something compelling, something fundamental - love, belonging, loyalty, family, tribe.

These things, along with fear and coercion, are ties that bind. We have to be equally compelling in our solutions to gang involvement and violence. We have to get in with young people and offer something authentic and worthwhile. That requires a commitment to building another road, not just a reaction. We need expertise, capacity and ongoing resource for that.

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