In 2001, our community witnessed a significant increase in violent criminal street gang activity. Realizing that the Police Department could not “arrest our way out of this gang problem” and that the community needed to work together to reduce gang violence. Over the course of the next few years, efforts to work collaboratively amongst City Departments to research best practices across the State resulted in determining a comprehensive approach was needed– residents, prevention specialists, private businesses and organizations, schools, and others would need to get involved; this community-wide problem would require a community-wide response. In 2003, the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force (now known as the Santa Rosa Violence Prevention Partnership) was formed to identify and implement critical strategies to support our youth.
Modeled after the City of San Jose, Santa Rosa established a collaborative effort involving over 50 organizations including city, county, and state government; local community-based organizations; schools, faith and business communities, and local law enforcement. The focus of our work is to stop the violence and victimization through enforcement and intervention efforts; intervene with those involved in criminal gang activity and redirecting them to services aimed at keeping them out of gangs; and preventing gang participation through a variety of programs that involve reconnecting youth with their schools, family and community. This model reinforces the concept that collaborative efforts, spanning a broad spectrum of community partners, ensures that a large number of stakeholders accept responsibility and accountability for the safety, health, and welfare of its youth, families, and community.
In 2016, a historical report of The Partnership was developed to capture the stories and evolvement since its inception in 2003. The report highlights the historical and current efforts, along with the future goals of The Partnership. To view the report, please click here.