Officials of the Lynwood sheriff's substation are applying for a $66,000 state crime-prevention grant to help launch a youth athletic league this summer.
The application is being made to the state Office of Criminal Justice Planning, said Sgt. Melvin Caradine.
The money will be used to purchase equipment and uniforms for boys and girls between 6 and 18 years old. The year-round program will include boxing, flag football, basketball, softball, volleyball and bicycling.
"This program is being implemented because we believe it will help reduce gang activities in the area we cover," Caradine said.
The program is expected to serve about 1,000 youths in Lynwood, Willowbrook and East Compton.
If the grant is not received, the program will still be implemented, Caradine said. Plans to raise money through fund-raisers and donations are under way, he said.
The Sheriff's Department started athletic programs for youths about 15 years ago through its Firestone substation and discovered that it helped to reduce gang activity, Caradine said.
Sheriff's athletic programs are also operating in East Los Angeles, Pico Rivera and Norwalk.