Placeholder Image photo credit: City of Santa Rosa
Logo of the Violence Prevention Partnership

Police Chief John Cregan has made clear his intent to revive the department’s Gang Crimes Team.

The move comes in response to two alleged gang related shootings which claimed the lives of two 15 year old Santa Rosa residents.

But Cregan has said, quote “that we will not arrest our way out of this problem," end quote.

As such, part of the department’s effort includes leveraging existing violence interruption networks within the city.

Networks like the one led by Danielle Garduno.

"The Santa Rosa Violence Prevention Partnership was formed in 2003 in response to an uptick in, uh, community violence, uh, particularly around gang violence," Garduno said. "Uh, it was known as the Mayor's Gang Prevention Task Force."

Different from law enforcement intervention, Garduno says the Violence Prevention Partnership has a specific focus.

"On those preventative and intervention services that are needed to address violence in the community," Garduno said.

The recent shootings have laid bare a major issue with the partnership, which Garduno said has been caused in part by its initial success.

"A big component of this is our intervention arm and the ability to intervene and interrupt in violence, um, as it's happening or just before it happens," Garduno said. "We've lost that and I think, I think the reason why is because we were being so successful and so we were seeing crime numbers and statistics dropping, and so we were becoming less eligible for both federal and state funding."

Garduno said getting that capacity back is a main focus.

"So building a street outreach team with community violence interrupters that can go out into the community and work one-on-one directly with these youth that are either at risk for gang involvement or who are actively involved in, um, in gang participation," Garduno said.

Garduno said she heard from residents at a recent Partnership planning meeting in Roseland, the desire to work on keeping their community and their streets safe for all.

"This is a community effort," Garduno said. "It's going to take everyone, including themselves to be a part of the solutions."

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