Anaheim Police Department's GRIP on Gangs:
Gang Reduction and Intervention Partnership, An Early Gang
Prevention Problem Solving Strategy
Scanning: Gang members are negatively impacting the quality of life for families already struggling with poverty, low education and issues of acculturation living in Anaheim and the neighboring City of Stanton. Gangs are growing in influence among younger children whom they are now targeting for membership.
Analysis: Between 2001-2005 gang membership declined for 21+ year olds—from 5000 to 3000—due to vigorous police action resulting in higher arrest rates. However, gang membership among children aged 14 and younger rose dramatically—from 50 in 2002 to 260 in 2007—as older gang members began courting young children, resulting in an overall rise in gang membership in 2006-2008. Their influence is contributing to growing school absenteeism, truancies, tardies, and defiant behaviors—key indicators of future gang involvement.
Teachers lack the “know how” to address this, parents are losing control of their children, and are unaware of their legal responsibilities. Various gang prevention efforts and programs lack coordination and communication.
Response: Forty community stakeholders came together to plan, blend and target resources to influence 4th-6th grade students to set higher lifestyle and academic goals, develop positive social and life coping skills, and become responsible citizens. The outcome was the Gang Reduction and Intervention Partnership (GRIP), a comprehensive, communitywide program that blends existing resources to target at risk youth.
Assessment: The effects of GRIP have been dramatic. In GRIP’s first year, truancy and unexcused absences have significantly decreased with all GRIP schools going from the worse attendance to the best or near best of their respective school districts; 33 of the most at-risk students have been case managed with more than 90% demonstrating noticeable and sometimes quite dramatic improvement in their behavior and attitudes; nearly 1/3 of all k-6 students are participating in adult supervised after school programs, and 85% say they now have an adult they can talk to if being coerced by a gang; 60% of teachers can now tell if students are flashing gang signs (up from 39%); 48% now understand gang mentality (up from 26%); and, 90% of parents feel confident that parents, police, and the schools working together can reduce gang activity.
You may download this PDF to read a good overview on our program: