The award-winning Orange County Gang Reduction and Intervention Partnership (OC GRIP) is a law enforcement partnership that identifies at-risk youth and aims to increase school attendance and decrease gang activity. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has formed OC GRIP and GRIP II committees and partnerships with the police departments from the Cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Garden Grove, Orange, Santa Ana, Tustin, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in Dana Point, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Stanton, and the unincorporated areas of North Orange County and the Orange County Probation Department.
OC GRIP has received the Cities, Counties and Schools Partnership Award, the and California State Association of Counties Challenge Merit Award, and the California School Boards Association Golden Bell Award for working with 49 schools on gang suppression, interventions for at-risk students, gang information forums, and parent/ faculty education.
Hundreds of police officers coordinate Curfew Sweeps in areas with a high volume of gang and/or criminal activity and all gang injunction safety zones to prevent minors from being victims of or participating in gang crimes. The program has rescued children as young as 6 years old roaming the streets past curfew.
OC GRIP teams consisting of deputy district attorneys, police officers, school principals and administrators go to the home of students with excessive truancy problems or 10 or more unexcused days of absence and conduct Truancy Interventions for students and parents to decrease truancy and support positive student attendance. Students are taken to school in a patrol car and counseled with their parents by the intervention team. Parents are prosecuted if their children’s truancy problems continue.
Students identified by OC GRIP as being high-risk for gang exposure and activity are challenged to complete the school year with improved attendance and grades, no suspensions, and involvement in positive after-school activities. The end reward is attending a Los Angeles Angels game as a VIP guest. The Angels donate 1,900 tickets each year in support of the anti-gang efforts. Ford Motor Company employees mentor over 100 OC GRIP kids and host a special event for successful students in their design center.
More than 1,500 parents have teamed up with law enforcement to form an anti-gang Parent Greeter Program at 42 Orange County elementary and middle schools, resulting in a sizable decrease in gang presence and graffiti. This program empowers parents to take responsibility for their schools by proactively taking a stand against gang crime. Parent greeters deter gang members and ensure students are abiding by the school dress code.
The California State Association of Counties (CSAC), a nonprofit corporation dedicated to meeting specific needs of the 58 counties in California, selected OC GRIP to highlight as a model gang prevention and intervention program. CSAC film staff visited and filmed several GRIP components and interviewed officers, school principals, and OCDA personnel. The CSAC published a 5-minute video highlighting the effectiveness of OC GRIP on Oct. 30, 2014. The video, embedded below, has been shared with representatives from all 58 counties in California and count representatives across the United States.