Commander Ken Gominsky
District Division Commander
Police Service Officer
Southcoast District Hotline
Southcoast Division personnel continue to aggressively address crime and quality-of-life issues impacting the Division's diverse neighborhoods, through enhancement of strong relationships with residential associations, community and business groups, school administration, government agencies, not-for-profit, and community-based organizations.
SANTA ANA INTERAGENCY NEIGHBORHOOD TEAM (S.A.I.N.T.)
The City of Santa Ana was one of thirteen original Weed and Seed program sites funded by the United States Department of Justice in 1992. This program is a long-term strategy of urban revitalization, designed to reclaim and restore impacted urban neighborhoods through comprehensive and coordinated efforts of police, city agencies, school districts, and community-based organizations. S.A.I.N.T. utilizes a variety of community building techniques, bicycle and plain-clothed patrol strategies, undercover narcotics operations, family intervention strategies, and targeted enforcement.
During 2004, officers assigned to the S.A.I.N.T. program continued to establish strong working relationships with the community. These relationships have significantly enhanced mutual understanding and educational opportunities for youth residing in the area, while enhancing long-term efforts to reduce crime. In June of 2004, S.A.I.N.T. and S.P.I.R.I.T. program staff held the 5th Drug Education for Youth (D.E.F.Y.) Camp at the United States Marine Corps Camp Pendleton base, in conjunction with the Orange County On Track, United States Attorney's Office, United States Marine Corps, Parks, and the Recreation and Community Services Agency. This program provided a one-week live-in military experience, with intensive curricula emphasizing anti-gang and anti-drug resiliency training for 60 at-risk youth from the S.A.I.N.T. and S.P.I.R.I.T. program areas. This experience was followed up by a 10-month mentoring program involving police, parks, and military personnel. This mentoring program was designed to improve the capacity of at-risk youth to resist gangs and drugs upon return to their neighborhoods, while also creating role models for others.
Division personnel also began implementation of the Santa Ana Safe Schools Initiative within the S.A.I.N.T. program area. This five-phased program addresses the safety needs of students residing in the program area, through collaborative efforts of police and school district, police volunteer safety patrols, safe houses, enhanced crossing guard programs, and campus-based mediation and conflict resolution strategies. The program has proven successful and is the foundation of the Santa Ana Safe Schools, a public and private venture providing similar programs and services to 30 public and parochial schools serving 59% of the district student population residing in the central core area of the city.
The S.A.I.N.T. program area enjoys a 39% reduction in serious criminal activity since 1995, as compared to a 25% reduction district-wide. This reduction includes a decrease of 26% in robbery, 41% in burglary, 43% in larceny, and 51% in auto theft. During 2004, the three officers assigned to this program made 913 arrests, including 352 arrests for felony offenses, 8 firearms seizures, over $174, 418.00 in assets, and 5,260 grams of controlled substances.
GRAFFITI TASK FORCE
The Graffiti Task Force program continues to address the plague of vandalism that impacts this community. During 2004, investigators assigned to this program made 265 arrests, filed 204 cases for criminal prosecution or formal probation review, conducted 473 investigations, and conducted 74 mediation sessions with first-time offenders and families. In conjunction with three recreation site leaders, Officers supervised weekend community service work crews, consisting of first-time offenders. Together, over 418,500 square feet of graffiti from public and private property was removed.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH ACTIVITY
Division staff hosted or attended over 120 neighborhood watch, business community watch, church, community-based organization, and neighborhood association meetings, throughout the year. During the Christmas season, division staff conducted Operation Santa Claus for the fifth year, which targeted needy families throughout the division. This program provided food and gifts for 180 families, including 65 teen-aged mothers attending specialized courses through the Santa Ana Unified School District. Additionally, staff instructed a number of courses locally and at a California state level, in the areas of gang intervention and prevention activities, landlord/tenant relations, crime control in high-risk multi-family areas, gang culture and awareness, and law enforcement practices in highly diverse communities.
SOUTHCOAST DISTRICT NEIGHBORHOOD LIAISON OFFICER (NLO) PROGRAM
To enhance our partnership with community representatives, the NLO program was implemented to permanently assign a Southcoast officer to a designated neighborhood association. Officers attend community meetings and discuss crime trends, ongoing programs, and exchange information regarding community concerns and expectations. The officers are supported by a District Police Service Officer that provides timely statistical information for the affected neighborhood and follow-up support for issues raised by residents. The NLO program is active in 13 neighborhood associations, and also includes key community stakeholders such as the Boys and Girls Club, area schools, and major businesses.