Santa Barbara County and the City of Santa Maria will be working together on finding ways to try and curb youth violence in the community.
“We are in crisis, this is about lives”, said One Community Action group team leader Pete Flores at the Santa Maria City Council meeting Tuesday night, “this is about a segment of our population that continues to struggle.”
Santa Barbara County 5th District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino is proposing a northern Santa Barbara County Task Force Against Youth Violence.
“The South Coast has initiated a program where they have a Task Force where they bring all interested parties together”, Lavagnino said Thursday afternoon, “they have attacked this issue over the last three years and really driven down the numbers of kids involved in violent crime.”
Lavagnino has secured County funding for various programs in the north County area.
The City of Santa Maria has opted to fund a new staff position to help coordinate the city’s response and participation in the proposed task force.
“My idea was maybe we pool our monies together and bring in somebody at a top level”, Lavagnino said about the City of Santa Maria’s decision, “what they’ve decided what they’d rather do is they want to have an Outreach Coordinator, which is fine, and then I’m going to bring in somebody at a little bit higher level than that and they will work together cohesively, probably out of the same area, and the old saying, two heads are better than one, we’ll have two people working on the project instead of just one.”