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placeholder January 23, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 2   •   Oakland, CA
Gang awareness program
kicks off in Oakland parishes

The Oakland Police Department is teaming up with California Youth Outreach on gang prevention, and will present separate programs aimed at parents and students in five Oakland parishes.

The Gang Prevention program will be presented at St. Elizabeth, St. Bernard, St. Anthony, St. Louis Bertrand and St. Jarlath parishes. Parents will be invited to one session, with students, from fifth grade up, invited to another session a week later.

At each session, Oakland Police Department Capt. Paul Figueroa will talk with the audience, followed by a presentation by the San Jose-based California Youth Outreach. Parents will learn the signs of gang involvement, while students will learn ways of avoiding involvement with gangs.

The first session for parents will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 25 in the St. Elizabeth Elementary School gym, across the street from the church, which is at 1500 34th Ave., Oakland. It will be followed by a session for students on Feb. 1; the time will be determined later. Dial St. Elizabeth Parish at 510-536-1266 for additional information.

These sessions grow out of a Gang Crime Summit in Oakland 2010, when law enforcement agencies met with Oakland’s police leadership and faith-based and community leaders, including the Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, bishop of Oakland, to discuss ways to reduce crime and gang violence.

The Oakland Police Foundation has provided a grant for the program. “The Oakland Police Department is reaching out to kids in these parishes, with the cooperation of the bishop and pastors,” said Geoffrey Collins, president of the board of the foundation.

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