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City Seeking Grant to Fight Youth Crime

January 06, 1998|HILARY E. MacGREGOR

The City Council voted Monday night to apply for a $345,000 state grant to establish a program that would help tackle juvenile crime.

Called the Innovative Local Law Enforcement and Community Policing Program, it would bring together police, schools, probation authorities and other city and county departments, businesses and volunteers in an effort to deter youth crime.

As part of the effort, a "youth services team" made up of a police officer and a deputy probation officer would help find the best treatment or community program to help troubled youths targeted by the team.

Treatments might include such things as participation in the Ventura Police Activities League, in which officers serve as role models for youths in the community; tutoring and mentoring; or family counseling and mental health services.

"Hopefully we could identify the at-risk kids and get them before they develop into career offenders," said Robbie Robinson, an administrative analyst for the Police Department.

If funding is received, the project would focus on the area west of the San Jon Barranca--stretching from Cabrillo Middle School west to the Avenue.

The program would begin April 1 and run for 18 months. At that point, if the state judged the project a success, the city could receive an additional year of funding. After that, however, the city would have to pay for the project.

"The whole push behind this is to get the community more involved in the juvenile justice system," Robinson said.

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