The Orange County Gang Reduction and Intervention Partnership (OC GRIP) was recognized today for its contribution to public safety at the Golden Hub of Innovation Awards by the Association of California Cities—Orange County (ACC-OC) chapter, the region’s leading public policy, strategy, education and advocacy group. The ceremony took place at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach.
“Every year, the students who meet the OC GRIP challenge make me proud. It is wonderful seeing the OCDA prosecutors, investigators and partners who facilitate this growth and change recognized for their role by ACC-OC,” said District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “The men and women behind OC GRIP have been successful in touching thousands of lives since the inception of the program and continue to motivate these students to develop and follow their dreams.”
“The law enforcement officers, deputy district attorneys, case managers and community partners that participate in the OC GRIP program inspire me every day by their commitment to keeping the community safe and changing the lives of thousands of students,” stated Senior Assistant District Attorney Tracy Miller.
OC GRIP is a law enforcement partnership that identifies at-risk youth and aims to increase school attendance and decrease gang activity. The program provides mentorship from law enforcement and community partners and offers incentives for positive behavior, perfect attendance, and staying out of gangs. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has OC GRIP and GRIP II committees and partnerships with law enforcement agencies, including police departments in the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Orange, Placentia, and Santa Ana, 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.
OC GRIP initiatives and incentives
Students identified by OC GRIP as high risk for gang exposure and activity are challenged to complete the school year with improved attendance and grades, no suspensions, and involvement in positive after-school activities.
-One of the rewards includes attending a Los Angeles Angels game as a VIP guest. The Angels donate 2,000 tickets each year in support of anti-gang efforts. Players and coaches talk personally to students before the game.
-Blizzard entertainment hosts over 80 students at their facilities in Irvine after mentoring them at OC GRIP schools for several months. They get a tour and work with professional artists to design their own video game characters.
-Ralphs/Food 4 Less generously donated over 875 turkey dinners to at-risk students who succeeded in OC GRIP’s annual Thanksgiving challenge to improve students’ attendance, behavior and grades in time for the holidays. Volunteers from Saddleback Church packed and personally delivered the dinners.
-Elementary school students were rewarded with a visit to the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. They participate in hands-on interactive learning experiences and had the opportunity to sail on two different vessels.
-Ford Motor Company employees mentor over 130 OC GRIP youth at their schools and host a special event with Taco Bell for successful students in their design center. The winning student’s design is turned into a professional wrap on the OC GRIP car for a full year.
-Master Sergio Cardenas, owner of Taekwondojang in San Juan Capistrano, has supported the OC GRIP Taekwondo Summer Camp for the past five years with over 160 students participating from the cities of Buena Park, Fullerton and Santa Ana.
-PIMCO, an investment management firm, mentors approximately 20 students at an OC GRIP school. At an activity May 4, students were treated to breakfast, a tour of the Newport Beach firm, and learned about investing through a simulation.