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LAGUNA HILLS | Community News Focus

City May Drop Out of Anti-Gang Program

June 11, 1996|FRANK MESSINA

The city may end its support of a regional gang prevention program tonight.

Saying that Laguna Hills is getting little return for its $18,000 contribution to the county Probation Department's gang suppression program, Councilwoman Melody Carruth wants the funds spent elsewhere.

"We continue to be a donor city," Carruth said. "We are not seeing the benefits from this program, and I'd prefer to direct the allocated funds" to the Sheriff's Department gang prevention program.

Laguna Hills is one of four cities, along with Dana Point, Laguna Niguel and San Juan Capistrano, that contribute equally to the $72,000 cost of hiring a probation officer who works with sheriff's investigators to handle local gang problems.

But Carruth says that Laguna Hills has relatively few gang members and would prefer to spend the money for gang education programs in schools.

Laguna Hills "does have fewer cases than the other cities" in the program, county probation supervisor Connie Havens said. "It's their prerogative to leave if they want."

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