Date: July 25, 2016


SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) was recognized yesterday by the National Association of Counties (NACo) with a 2016 Achievement Award in the category of Children and Youth for the development and success of the program Orange County Gang Prevention and Intervention Partnership (OC GRIP). The award recognizes all agencies and organizations that contribute to OC GRIP, an innovative and effective program designed to prevent youths from joining criminal street gangs. The program received the award yesterday afternoon, July 24, 2016 at the NACo Achievement Awards Luncheon held at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center.

Each year, the NACo honors counties from across the United States for excellence in public service. Programs that are recognized offer new services to residents, use revenue wisely, enhance citizen participation in the community, and promote intergovernmental collaboration as counties address shared problems. Programs awarded by NACo have succeeded in enacting community involvement and maintained effective change over time.

OC GRIP is a collaborative effort between the Buena Park Police Department, California Highway Patrol, California State Parole, California State University, Fullerton Police, Fullerton Police Department, Garden Grove Police Department, OCDA, Orange County Probation Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Orange Police Department, San Clemente Police Department, San Juan Capistrano Police Department, Santa Ana Police Department, Santa Ana Unified School District Police, several schools districts, faith based organizations, and private businesses. OC GRIP currently operates in 51 schools countywide.

Since 2008, OC GRIP has set out to provide education and recreational opportunities for students who struggled with truancy, keeping up with their grades and behaving appropriately in school. Most of these students had never participated in teams or programs outside of school due to a lack of resources or familial support. OC GRIP also supports students by holding hundreds of parent intervention meetings, faculty presentations and gang prevention education courses prepared and delivered by law enforcement agents. OC GRIP sponsored clubs and camps provide a safe, confidence-building environment for at-risk juveniles across the county. During the 2014-2015 school year, truancy rates were reduced drastically among student participants.

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas shared, “This award recognizes the countless hours by so many people who care — from law enforcement officers to teachers to community members. But the award goes to the OC GRIP students who changed the trajectory for themselves and their families by making the positive choices and rejecting gangs.”

To see OC GRIP’s partners and participants in action, please visit www.youtube.com/OrangeCountyDA.