Sacto 9-1-1
December 3, 2008
Sacramento kicks off anti-gang campaign

From Sandy Louey:

Officials are launching an anti-gang media campaign to help divert Sacramento youth away from gangs.

The effort, which was announced Wednesday, is a partnership between the Sacramento Police Department, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the city of Sacramento's Office of Youth Development.

The campaign consists of billboards through the city, public service announcements on local TV stations and posters.

The campaign, which is based on a similar initiative in Fresno earlier this year, is to direct people to call the city's 311 information line, which provides information about city services.

Twenty-hours a day, seven days a week, callers can get connected to information about existing programs and resources in the community to keep at-risk youth from joining gangs or help those in gangs to get out, said Lyn Corbett, director of the city's Office of Youth Development.

Corbett said there are programs on gang prevention and intervention, academic support, job and life skills development and employment assistance.

The billboard campaign consists of the words "Gangs have a special place for your kids. We can help. Call 311" and a photo of a cemetery.

One billboard is already up at Broadway and La Solidad Way. The remaining four billboards are scheduled to be rolled out in upcoming months, Corbett said.

The majority of funding for the campaign came from a $40,000 grant from the Project Safe Neighborhoods, a federal program aimed at curtailing gang and gun violence through education and early intervention efforts.

Those that provided in-kind support were CBS Outdoor, which donated the billboards and the Astone Agency, which designed the public service announcement.

Fresno's Valley Crime Stoppers and the 13 City Gang Network also provided assistance, Corbett said.

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