Police Department

Gang Prevention Initiative

Gang Prevention Initiative

Gang Prevention Initiative Logo

The Gang Prevention Initiative (GPI) established in 2006 is a comprehensive multi-dimensional and community enhancement violence reduction strategy, under the umbrella of the City of Fresno’s Police Department. The Initiative assists individuals who want to voluntarily leave the gang lifestyle, to service provider programs that will assist them with direct service towards a positive lifestyle change.

In an effort to reduce the amount of gang-related crime throughout the City of Fresno, the initiative incorporates the following violence reduction strategies and core components – Prevention, Intervention, Enforcement and Community Engagement.

There are a variety of service providers GPI facilitates services to for individuals that meet the eligibility criteria. These programs include needs intake, job training, job placement, employment referrals, substance abuse, anger management, mental health, education, food, housing, mentoring, dental, vision, medical, mentoring, youth activities, tattoo removal and other basic life skill services.

To be eligible for GPI assistance, an individual:

  • Must reside within the City of Fresno.
  • Must have a direct tie to a gang (validated, associate or “wanna-be”) and desire to voluntarily leave the gang lifestyle.
  • Cannot have pending warrants and/or court cases.
  • Cannot be a registered sex offender nor have disqualifying offenses as determined by GPI.

Goal

Prevent youth crime, violence, and gang involvement while developing a positive relationship between law enforcement officials, school officials, families, and young people to create safer communities

The initiative is comprised of three bodies: The MGPI Staff, Advisory Board and the Service Providers:

  • GPI Staff primary objective is to facilitate eligible participant’s direct services identified in needs intake to existing local community agencies that focus on: prevention, intervention, suppression, rehabilitation, and economic development. This coordinated approach through grassroots organizing and public/private partnerships, will allow the Initiative to reinforce local best practices.
  • Advisory Board includes representatives from local law enforcement, juvenile & adult criminal justice system, education, health, and social services entities. The Advisory Board evaluates emerging trends that address the gang population, facilitate interagency collaboration, troubleshooting, and assist where possible in the progression of the GPI program, including a review current future and potential resource opportunities.
  • Service Providers include social service providers, community-based organizations and faith-based organizations that provide direct services to GPI participants and their families.

A variety of federal, state and private foundation grants and violence reduction projects are administered and supported by GPI. Projects include community outreach and engagement efforts as follows:

  • Youth Leadership Development: Fresno Barrios Unidos facilitates El Joven Noble (Noble Youth) youth development program for male and female youth ages 11-24 in the City of Fresno. Program is designed to support leadership enhancement through a set of courses, strengthen self-esteem via curriculum and camp project.
  • Community Learning Sites: Care Fresno heals neighborhoods thru holistic ministries such as after-school tutoring, sports, mentoring, Bible studies and summer camps. Five new community learning sites were established in gang dominated apartment complexes.
  • Boxing: Fresno Police Activities League prevention efforts provide structured boxing activities as healthy alternatives to local at-risk youth. Boxing is provided to all youth living in inner-city and low income neighborhoods. Program builds character, strengthens police-community relations, and keeps children away from gangs
  • Intervention Counseling: Fresno Madera Youth for Christ (YFC) seeks to positively impact the lives of youth through intervention counseling inside the Juvenile Justice Center and Youth Correctional Facilities. The program emphasizes gang prevention and intervention with high-risk youth from central and west Fresno. Youth are trained in conflict resolution, job skills, and being accountability for their actions.
  • Community Outreach & Engagement: Bringing Broken Neighborhoods Back to Life under the fiscal agent Neighborhood Watch, project goal is to build bridges of resources to community residents living in neighborhoods directly affected by gang violence. The objective is to host twelve community events in gang infested neighborhoods during the spring and summer months. This community collaboration of service providers, FPD, and faith-based organizations meet 40 times a year planning events within the southern part of the city.
  • Project STEALTH (Stop Trafficking Exploitation And Liberate Through Hope): Fresno Police Department Chaplaincy Program is based on research, professional expertise, and input from youth and families to identify and deliver services proven to achieve positive outcomes. FPC identifies youth in need through FPD database systems, assigns a specific mentor Chaplain to respond and identify the catalyst for the relational turmoil. The objective is to identify runaways and reduce their contact with law enforcement.
  • Ceasefire: Prevention, intervention and community-mobilization strategies to reduce community violence. The most active, influential gang members are required to attend a brokered call-in meeting at a partner church.  A panel of various local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and community members give message of stopping the gang violence followed by community service provider’s resource assistance.
  • Street Outreach: Program responds to gang-related incidents in an effort to mediate an reduce conflicts between gangs following a violent incident, support victim of shooting and family though incident, provide resources and mentor gang members towards positive alternatives.
  • Tattoo Removal: Gang Prevention Initiative in collaboration with local FCEOC clinic, treatment is offered to GPI enrolled participants demonstrating a sincere commitment to change their life through mandated volunteer community service and removal of visible gang related tattoos which may inhibit their ability to seek employment
  • Leadership Development: Friends of Calwa facilitates the “Nature and Nurture” curriculum, a positive youth development program for children ages 11 to 15 who reside in the Calwa area.  The program is designed to develop leadership skills, strengthen self-esteem, learn community values and exercise self-empowerment. The program’s goal is to reduce the occurrence of youth gang-related incidents and increase positive outcomes for young people with a high risk for gang involvement.