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Grant to Prevent Gang Crime Approved

APPLE VALLEY: Thanks to a grant from the Board of State and Community Corrections, Apple Valley will retain its Juvenile Gang Prevention Deputy for at least two years and initiate or expand several youth programs all aimed at reducing juvenile gang crime.

“This grant funds a focused effort to reduce juvenile gang crime from several angles,” explained Apple Valley Sheriff’s Sergeant Shawn Henry. “It will provide crime suppression through pro-active contact and enforcement of probation and parole violators, at-risk youth intervention through the Apple Valley Police Activity League after school S.H.O.C.K. program, and additional  gang awareness education of young children through afterschool programs.”

Only 20 cities were granted the funds that were awarded for the 2014/2015 California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention Program.

The grant will benefit approximately 6,500 youth in Apple Valley by funding the following programs:

  • Botvin Life Skills Training
  • Multiple anti-gang student assemblies
  • Anti-bullying presentations
  • Mirrored anti gang assembly presentations for parents and teachers
  • Funding for Apple Valley Police Activities League operational costs
  • Funding for the SHOCK teen intervention program
  • Provide after-school tutoring
  • Fund community crime prevention and youth safety fairs
  • Youth enrichment trips
  • Automotive restoration program

“These programs give our youth a safe place to participate in a variety of alternatives to gang activity,” said Sergeant Henry.

Last year, more than 3,000 fourth, fifth and sixth graders attended a presentation by a Juvenile Gang Deputy on the dangers of gang membership. These presentations were so well received by the students, they went home and told their parents. In turn, parents asked for the same information and the program was expanded to include after-school presentations for the interested parents, and an anti-bullying presentation for K-4th graders.

“Due to the current economy, donations to non-profit organizations such as AVPAL have been drastically reduced,” Sergeant Henry explained. “This grant will allow us to continue and expand these programs for at least two more years.”

Additionally, the grant allows the Sheriff’s Department to schedule several gang suppression operations over the next two years which includes the identification of new gang members, home visits for some identified juvenile gang members on probation, pro-active patrols in areas targeted by gangs; and 10 curfew operations.

For more information on these, or other programs offered through the Apple Valley Sheriff’s Department, contact (760) 240-7400.

Source: Town of AV news release

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