|For Immediate Release
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
PARENTS ON PATROL GUARD AGAINST
GANGS AND GRAFFITI
ORANGE COUNTY – More than 750 parents have teamed up with law enforcement to launch an anti-gang parent greeter program at 26 Orange County elementary and middle schools. This program is aimed at empowering parents to take responsibility for their schools and communities by proactively taking a stand against gang crime. Media interested in attending the launch tomorrow, Oct. 7, 2010, should contact Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder at (714) 347-8408 or Spokesperson Farrah Emami at (714) 347-8405 for details on time and location.
In response to harassing and intimidating behavior by gang members at Orange County elementary and middle schools, over 750 parents have teamed up with the OCDA and their local police departments to form a new Gang Reduction and Intervention Partnership (GRIP) parent greeter program. GRIP is a law enforcement partnership that identifies at-risk youth and aims to increase school attendance and decrease gang activity.
Orange County currently has 25 GRIP schools in the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Mission Viejo, Orange, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Stanton, and the unincorporated areas of North Orange County. Gang members have loitered in front of the schools, written gang graffiti on the walls, and intimidated students as they arrived and left the campus. The new parent greeter program empowers parents to take responsibility for their schools and communities by proactively taking a stand against gang crime.
Participating parents stand in front of the GRIP schools wearing orange vests before and after school to greet students and ensure that they are abiding by the school dress code and are not dressed like gang members. The presence of these parents also serves as a deterrent to gang members. Those schools that have unofficially started the parent greeter program have observed a noticeable decrease in gang presence and graffiti.
Parent greeters all received training from their local police departments and the OCDA on gang prevention and safety and are subject to a law enforcement background review. The program was officially launched today, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010, and all 25 schools are expected to be active within the next two weeks.
The participating schools will include: Bernice Ayer Middle School, California Elementary School, Carl E. Gilbert Elementary School, Carver Elementary School, Clarence Lobo Elementary School, Dale Junior High School, Danbrook Elementary School, Del Obispo Elementary School, Esther L. Walter Elementary School, Handy Elementary School, Hansen Elementary School, Kinoshita Elementary School, Las Palmas Elementary School, Marblehead Elementary School, Marco Forster Middle School, Newhart Middle School, Olive Street Elementary School, Palm Lane Elementary School, Portola Middle School, Robert M. Pyles Elementary School, San Juan Elementary School, Shorecliffs Middle School, South Junior High School, Whitaker James A Elementary School, and Yorba Middle School.