California Police Chief- Fall 2013 - Page 25

The photos illustrate Monrovia’s new twist to community oriented policing. “We try to motivate people to bring their neighborhoods‘up,’” Hunt said. ? When the problems of 2008 hit, Hunt and his fellow officers asked themselves how they could prevent kids from joining gangs and how they could intervene with kids already involved in gangs. ? They came up with an intervention program calledChaplains for At Risk Youth (CARY), in which police chaplains seek out middle-school or early high school students who aren’tin gangs but who are associating with gang members or hanging out with kids using drugs. ? Parents are more receptive to opening up to chaplains than to police officers, Hunt said. The chaplains point parents to such resources as boys and girls clubs, the YMCA, and afterschool programs. ? Hunt said CARY has yielded “great successes” with many families. ? “If we can change one kid’s life,” he said, “we can make a difference.” ? Another Monrovia PD program that is part of the James Q. Wilson award is The Formative Years, which is aimed at the prevention part of Hunt’s anti-gang strategy. In a partnership with schools and churches, police officers separate parents from their children into two classes and cover such topics as parenting skills, bullying, gangs and drug use, and the media’s influence on children. ? Finally, in an effort to suppress gang activity, Monrovia partners with adjacent city Duarte, which is patrolled by Los Angeles County Sheriff ’s Department deputies, to conduct gang sweeps and share information about known or suspected gang members. The program is called DAMAGE, for Duarte and Monrovia Anti-Gang Enforcement. ? “For a small agency,” Hunt said, “we strive to be innovative and creative in finding solutions for our community.” • Spring 2012 | 25