The Santa Barbara Police Department will roll out an outreach program that aims to take at-risk teenagers off the streets and under car hoods.
DRAGG is an afterschool program where high school students are mentored and taught automotive repair skills and creative car customization.
Sergeant Eric Beecher has been working on bringing this program to Santa Barbara for years. Beecher met with Oxnard Police Officers who has seen DRAGG work for them.
More than 120 students in Oxnard left the program and enrolled into college or vocational schools.
“I think it’s an opportunity to look at the automotive industry and get interested in maybe finding something that sparks their interest that makes them want to go to school or a job that interests them. So the goal is to kind of get the automotive juices flowing,” said Sergeant Beecher.
Several local businesses agreed to donate used cars and automotive parts to the program. Beecher is working with car dealerships to see if a DRAGG vehicle can be donated to the department. Officers will use that car to entice students to join the program.
Beecher hopes this program will continue for many generations. To make a donation, you can contact the Santa Barbara Police Department at (805) 897-2300.