Prevention has to start with a partnership between the school district and law enforcement. We have a school resource officer assigned to each high school in Santa Ana so that a special relationship is created between the department, the school administration and the students. Officers help the school in identifying potential problems on campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods. Then we can work together to address those problems.
The officer knows the kids who shouldn’t be there, who have either been expelled or go to other schools, and he can take action to prevent incidents from occurring.
We have a comprehensive gang-prevention program. What we’ve done is make sure some of our gang-suppression officers are monitoring school areas and that they work closely with the school resource officer.
We want to make as sure as possible that the school is a safe environment where kids can go without fear of gangs or intimidation and they’re able to get back home without any problems.