Did you know that there are about 1,200 adults on probation in Santa Ana? They are supervised by only 17 deputy probation officers and two supervising probation officers, according to the Orange County Probation Department.
In an attempt to stem the gang war that has blown up in Santa Ana since New Year’s Eve, the SAPD checked 25 probationers on Tuesday, each a registered gang member with a history of firearms, according to the OC Register.
All of that work amounted to four arrests, including the arrest of man on probation for kidnapping and carjacking, as well as a hit-and-run suspect with an outstanding warrant.
The SAPD has also seized 25 guns in the past month due to the SAPD vehicle and probation checks, and patrol calls.
The reasons for the current raging gang war in our city are many but they include:
- The arrests in 2011 and 2013 of many of the most hardcore Mexican Mafia members in Santa Ana – leaving a massive void that has been filled by warring young thugs
- The meth problem in our city – many gangbangers are tweaking and this has led to more violence
- The shut down of the city’s medical marijuana clinics – only two legal dispensaries have been allowed to open, which means the drug trade in our city is once again in the hands of the gangs
- The continued failure of the SAUSD – we still have way too many dropouts
- The lack of jobs in our city. Leaving young people with not many choices – save for the lucrative drug trade
- The poverty and single parent homes. Babies born out of wedlock and dads in prison equals wayward youth!
So how do we fix this mess? Well first we have to acknowledge that our city is in real trouble. We might finally be at that point. Check out what SAPD Police Chief Carlos Rojas told the O.C. Register this week:
“It’s been a violent start to the new year. I haven’t seen this level of violence in recent times.”
So how do we dig out of this mess?
Here are a few suggestions:
- The SAPD should get a list of recent school dropouts from the SAUSD and go visit their families. We need to get these kids back in school or at least in continuation school
- The SAUSD and Santa Ana College should contact all the students who finished high school over the past few years and did not graduate as they did not pass the high school exit exam and let them know that they can now get their high school diploma. And they can finish their missing high school credits for free at Santa Ana College’s extension campus.
- We need more jobs! The City Council should get rid of their ban on non-union big box stores and invite Best Buy, Wal Mart and other large retailers to come open more stores in our city.
- Don’t just hassle those on probation. Ask them if they need work and connect them to the Santa Ana WorkCenter. And refer them to Santa Ana College so they can finish their high school credits and earn their diplomas.
- Create a fund to pay to help those who want to leave gangs to get rid of their tattoos.
- Do a better job of marketing the city’s youth sports leagues so the kids can stay out of trouble and get in shape at the same time.
- Perhaps the city and Santa Ana College could host free cooking classes for single moms. I see them buying lots of junk food at the supermarkets and you have to wonder if they know how to cook. You can feed a family with very little money if you know how to cook good, healthy food from scratch.
- How about free Santa Ana Zoo memberships to at-risk youth?
- Let’s put the Artists Village to work. How about art classes for kids caught tagging? Teach them about color theory and art history and let’s see if some of these kids have hidden talents.
It is past time for our city’s leaders to get off their butts, admit we have a gang problem and get to work!
10 thoughts on “The SAPD police chief finally admits that gang violence in Santa Ana is at a new high”
I think one of the biggest issues is lax parenting. I have some experience with the families hear and there are many good families but it seems like sometimes families in SA let their kids do whatever and then go on about how they are “angels” and what not. We need a tough no nonsense and charismatic spokesperson to talk to families about being tougher on kids and valuing education.
I have some other unorthodox ideas
– To your point about the Mexican Mafia, we should release those we arrested or if thats unpalatable then work with the newly emerging “leaders of the community” (code for up and coming gang leaders) to reign in violence, as violence is bad for business. I am of the mind that crime and the drug trade will never go away, the best we can hope for is to redirect it away from the hardworking taxpayers of SA. It seems like the high ranking members of the MM curtailed violence and with them gone its a madhouse. They do this in “The Shield”
-Change some of the street names of the old gangs to silly fruitful names like candyland lane, or marshmallow hill etc. Its hard to be taken seriously when youre banging on gumdrop st. It might not make that much difference now but future kids will likely just laugh at the thought of joining a gang on such streets.
-Can we deploy that bullet detection system that Chicago and some other cities have?
-More cameras on city streets and intersections. Catch the license plates of cars being driven by suspects
Great points. The Mexican Mafia had stopped drive by shootings in our city for years. Now we have full carnage almost every day.
Yeah its pretty much a deal with the devil but its one I can live with if it means less violence.
Parents can’t just be tougher on kids and expect a result. If you believe that you are retarded and clearly have no experience with these type of things. At risk youth don’t give a f*ck what the parents have to say and if a parent becomes tougher then it will just makes things worse and destroy the relationship even more and the kid will go to his second family (gang) and gain more of a relationship with them. A kid will only change HIS ways if HE wants too
“.. gang violence in Santa Ana is at a new high” – That’s not what he said.
And, it was MUCH worse in the 80’s & early 90’s.
It is a new high for him. And we were paraphrasing.
We are heading in the wrong direction.
the problem is the laws of the gov. cant diseplin the kid because they call 911 ,if the kids r bad its the parents fault thats b.s. the major pulido dont do shit everybody in the city don’t do shit we should get all the gang bangers and whip them hard
The Artist Village? How about you pay someone to do that, artists are starving as it is. What’s wrong with putting some of those people that just hang out all day at 4th and French doing nothing to work?
Sure. The city can use CDBG grants.
Santa Ana leaders have been blind to many issues that now threaten to tear their city apart.
For instance, one could say that, “Santa Ana doesn’t have a homeless problem either.”
City leaders here have had tunnel vision for some time. To them community development means doing whatever it takes to create a cool vibe in DTSA to bring new life and new money to downtown merchants and property owners. They would bring a train down 4th St. “Oh sure, that will make everyone happy, that will make Santa Ana a great place to live!”
While I am happy to see the changes and welcome the new “cool vibe” in DTSA, I can’t say I’m any more proud of Santa Ana.
Other cities have also had similar utopian dreams of re-purposing their outdated downtown areas and have done so successfully.
The leaders of these cities understand that community development starts at the bottom and works upwards. Civc pride is built on a foundation of providing opportunities for all including the weak, impoverished, neglected, homeless, single mother’s and fatherless children as well the privileged merchants and property owners in DTSA.
This is how utopian dreams are built.