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Solutions To Violence

Post Date:05/11/2018 4:56 PM

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May 11, 2018


Santa Maria Represented at Gang Prevention Conference


Santa Maria was well-represented at the 7th Annual Gang Prevention & Intervention Conference held in Los Angeles on May 7th and 8th. Mayor Alice Patino and Mayor Pro Tem Etta Waterfield were among a group of City staff who attended, as part of the Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Safety, to learn collaborative approaches and comprehensive solutions to violence.


“Keeping our youth safe and our families informed is a high priority for us,” Mayor Alice Patino said. “We need to be educated about crime trends around the state and their impact here in Santa Maria. Crime, whether it’s guns, gangs, drugs, or sex trafficking, and more, finds its way to many cities along the busy Highway 101 corridor. We need to continue to acknowledge this, and be aware of what’s happening.”


“Sex trafficking is the number one problem now with gangs,” Councilmember Etta Waterfield said. “Especially with young girls. This is something that families need to be made aware of, and take action.”


City staff who also attended the conference were Outreach Coordinator Eddie Galarza, Recreation Service Manager Teresa Reyburn, Recreation and Parks Commissioner Rebecca Carey, and retired Councilmember Bob Orach and his wife Mary Ellen.


Following a spike in violent crime and to also overcome barriers to resources for at-risk families and children, the Santa Maria community came together through the inclusive Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Safety. Committed partnerships blossomed among employers, nonprofits, schools, churches, law enforcement, and government. The adopted grass-roots strategic plan aims to reduce youth violence by mobilizing and aligning community resources and partnerships. The focus is on prevention, intervention, enforcement and re-entry, using ideas contributed by diverse community members. The ongoing efforts include summer youth programs, civic leadership programs, and multiple partnerships to assist those at-risk with valuable resources. For more details go online at



Department:               City Manager’s Office

Contact Person:          Mark van de Kamp, Public Information Manager

Telephone Number:    (805) 925-0951 ext. 2372 or (805) 720-4038 

E-mail Address:




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