Date: October 5, 2018
ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY TO BE RECOGNIZED BY ANGEL LIGHT ACADEMY WITH “2018 ABOVE AND BEYOND AWARD” FOR WORK TO KEEP KIDS OUT OF GANGS
SANTA ANA, Calif. – Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Tony Rackauckas will be recognized among others by the Angel Light Academy as honorees of the ninth Annual Above and Beyond Award for their work with the Orange County Gang Reduction Intervention Partnership (OC GRIP) and keeping kids out of gangs. The honorees selected for this award are local citizens who have proven excellence in community leadership and service and have consistently gone above and beyond.
The awards will be presented at the 2018 Coastal Above and Beyond Gala on Oct. 6, 2018. This event was established in 2009 as a program meant to recognize the “doers” in local communities. This event allows the community to view the work of the honorees who represent various organizations, institutions, and corporations.
“OC GRIP has been in existence for 11 years and I am very proud of the partnership created with over 400 businesses, non-profit organizations, faith-based groups, school districts, and police departments such as Waymakers, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and Orange County Probation. GRIP has seen tremendous results of keeping kids in school and out of gangs. I am honored to accept this award from the Angel Light Academy and to recognize all of the outstanding work being done in Orange County to keep our community safe,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.
The award-winning 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.
Senior District Attorney Tracy Miller founded OC GRIP under the direction of District Attorney Tony Rackauckas in 2008. OC GRIP is the largest gang prevention program in the United States. The OC GRIP program involves multiple organizations and agencies, 300 community partners and over 4,000 volunteers to prevent kids from participating in gang activity. OC GRIP has set out to provide education and recreational opportunities for students who struggle with truancy, keeping up 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 officials. OC GRIP sponsored clubs and camps provide a safe, confidence-building environment for at-risk juveniles across the county.
Some of the events hosted by OC GRIP in the past have included a taekwondo summer camp, soccer camps, a trip to the Blizzard Entertainment headquarters in Orange County, and an Angel’s game. PIMCO, an investment management firm, mentors approximately 20 students at an OC GRIP school. The partnership hosts several events every year as incentives to these students to keep up their attendance, attitude, and academics.