Thursday, December 5, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 40

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on July 10th, 2019, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 19 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 20, Issue 19

County, cities seek federal grant to fight gang violence

By Zac Ezzone

The Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County (CAC) is applying for a grant through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to create a more collaborative approach to reducing gang violence in the county.

According to a memorandum of understanding between the CAC and the jurisdictions sponsoring the grant application, the commission will lead an effort to create the Santa Barbara County Youth Safety Initiative if the grant funding is secured. This initiative will be used to reduce gang activity, prevent the youth from joining gangs, and to help kids leave gangs. 

If the DOJ approves the grant application, the funding will also be used to create a new youth safety task force in Lompoc, which will join similar task forces in South County and Santa Maria.

According to a 2019-21 draft budget presented to Lompoc City Council in June, gang violence in the city is increasing. During fiscal year 2017-18, there were 53 gang-related assaults and homicides in the city. This increased to 65 gang-related violent crimes during fiscal year 2018-19.

“Law enforcement in [Lompoc] has dedicated significant efforts towards reducing the violence, but current resources are limited and there is no existing collaborative entity to address that violence,” a staff report from the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors July 9 meeting states.

At the July meeting, supervisors granted county CEO Mona Miyasato the authority to sign the CAC’s memorandum of understanding on behalf of the county. Representatives from the cities of Carpinteria, Goleta, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Lompoc are expected to do the same soon.

If the DOJ approves CAC’s request for grant funding, the commission will initially receive $150,000 to create an action plan. After that, the CAC would receive $283,333 per year over the following three years to fund measures outlined in the plan.

Zac Ezzone

Weekly Poll
What do you think of the wind energy project the county Planning Commission approved just south of Lompoc?

It's great. We need more renewable energy sources.
I'm concerned about all of the birds that'll die.
I'd rather the county focus on oil and gas projects.
Visually it's going to ruin a beautiful landscape.

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