Orange County Law Enforcement, Angels Baseball Honor 2,000 Students for Resisting Gangs, Succeeding in School

Students, Chaperones Will Be Treated to Meet-and-Greet with Angels Players During Angel Stadium Event

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Angel Stadium will be turned into a real-life Field of Dreams for 2,000 at-risk Orange County children on Wednesday, May 1 as a reward for improving their school attendance and behavior while resisting bad influences.

Players from the Angels lineup will join Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes, and police chiefs from across the county to celebrate the achievements of these students and demonstrate how dedication and hard work can transform dreams into reality.

The Orange County Gang Reduction and Intervention Partnership (OC GRIP) students will be greeted by Angels players, watch the team warm up during batting practice, and see the Angels take on the Toronto Blue Jays.

This event commemorates 11 years of the special partnership between Angels Baseball, Orange County’s law enforcement community and Orange County Schools.

“As a former high school teacher and school board trustee I know that education is the key to the futures of all of our children,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “Law enforcement in Orange County – the District Attorney’s Office, the Sheriff’s Department, police departments, case managers from Waymakers, and the Probation Department – are all involved in this program to ensure children receive they education they must have to be successful citizens. Nothing else matters unless they receive an education.”

OC GRIP operates in 60 schools across Orange County to reduce gang involvement and inspire students to succeed in school and in life.

OC GRIP partners with 14 different police agencies and more than 400 community partners, including several faith-based partners, in an effort to in an effort to encourage the community of Orange County to invest energy and resources into students who live in Orange County.  Nearly 150 employees of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the county’s Probation Department volunteer their time to give educational presentations to students, teachers and parents.

In partnering with local community businesses and members, OC GRIP is able to connect students and their families with resources in the community to assist with a variety of needs, including but not limited to: food, housing, afterschool activities, individual and family counseling and mentorship programs.

OC GRIP invites the media to arrive at Angel Stadium on May 1, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. Credentialed members of the press interested in attending are encouraged to call the OCDA PIO Kimberly Edds at 714-347-8405 or via email at to make arrangements.

Nearly 2,000 students in the fourth through eighth grades and teacher chaperones will attend the May 1, 2019 baseball game as guests of Angels Vice President of Communications Tim Mead and Angels Baseball.

“We have watched for years the positive impact OC GRIP has had on thousands of youngsters,” said Mead.  “The ability to reach one child at a time in a proactive manner pays dividends not only for that individual, but for their community as well.   GRIP is a program handled by men and women who care deeply about these kids, their welfare, and of course, their future.  It is our privilege and pleasure to be associated with such a program!”

“We are proud to see so many students making the decision to reject gangs and commit to making positive life choices,” said Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes “Their hard work is rewarded in the short-term by events like this one, but they will reap the true benefit of the choices they make today for many years to come. OC Grip instills strong values and work ethic that will serve these students beyond their school years and throughout their life.”

Students will arrive at 3:00 p.m. and have early access to Angel Stadium, where they will sit behind the dugout and be greeted by Angels players and staff before the team stretch and warm up. The game begins at 7:07 p.m. when the Angels face the Toronto Blue Jays.

Participating law enforcement agencies include police departments in the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Orange, Placentia, Santa Ana and Tustin, as well as the Santa Ana Unified School District Police, California State University Fullerton Police, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Orange County Probation Department and OCDA’s Bureau of Investigation.