Gang & Youth Violence Commission
Next Meeting: April 29, 2015, 5:30pm at the St. Helena Fire Dept. Conference room located on Main Street.
The Gang & Youth Violence Commission is a 28-person Commission responsible for coordinating gang prevention, intervention and suppression activities throughout the County, providing the County with appropriate recommendations, and overseeing the implementation of the Gang & Youth Violence Master Plan.
The Board of Supervisors approved this blueprint for preventing and dealing with gang activity and youth violence on April 4, 2011.
Gang-related crime and violence is one of the most serious problems our society faces today in nearly all communities in California, large and small. The stories about the gang lifestyle are spread daily through all forms of media including film, television, music and the Internet.
Within the past few years, Napa County has seen an increase in the number of gang members and gang-related crime. In May of 1998, the first drive-by gang murder was committed in our community. In January 1999, the Napa County District Attorney's Office formed a special unit consisting of a prosecutor and an investigator solely for the purpose of reducing gang violence through a combination of suppression, education and community awareness.
For too long, most of us have viewed gangs as an inner city or cultural problem which law enforcement would take care of. We no longer can afford this way of thinking. We must respond as a community and join resources to prevent gang violence. All members of our community including parents, educators, clergy, businesses, law enforcement and local government must form a partnership to reach out to our youth and provide alternatives to the gang lifestyle. The key to the reduction in gang violence is through a combination of prevention, early intervention and suppression programs.
With these concepts in mind, we are presenting this information packet to help you better understand how and why gangs are forming and operating in Napa County and for what purposes. We are also including information to help you recognize early warning signs that may indicate your child's interest or participation in a gang.
Our children are our future. We must work together to ensure that their world and ours is a safe and healthy one. It is my hope that this pamphlet will help you meet the challenge we are all facing.
GARY LIEBERSTEIN, DISTRICT ATTORNEY