Lawmakers have included more than nine-million dollars in their budget proposal for gang prevention efforts in cities and counties. There’s also funding for a statewide anti-gang coordinator-- a position the Governor supports.
Last month Schwarzenegger unveiled a multi-million dollar plan which includes efforts to fight existing gangs and measures to discourage youth from joining. Democratic Assemblywoman Anna Caballero says it’s too heavy on law enforcement.
“I was much more interested in looking at violence prevention as a public health issue in terms of what can we do to strengthen the community rather than how many police officers can we put on the street…”
Democrats have criticized the Governor’s prevention efforts, saying the funding source is not reliable. A spokesman for the Governor says fighting gangs is among Schwarzenegger’s highest priorities and he looks forward to working out the details.