Monterey County leads the state with the highest youth murder rate of 31.24 per 100,000 residents ages 10 to 24. Santa Cruz ranked 15th in this same study by the Violence Policy Study.
COPA’s approach to stemming the tide of gang violence is to engage in prevention strategies to complement the suppression and intervention efforts of local government. We believe that if our kids are provided opportunities for supportive family life and positive community activities, they can find dignity, self-worth, and meaningful connections with caring adults to create high expectations for achievement.
COPA leaders are organizing to:
In 2013, 70 leaders met with Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak to build trust with the local immigrant community (read article)