Council to vote on youth crime prevention grant

City of Santa Clarita City Hall

The Santa Clarita City Council is expected to accept a $331,000 grant Tuesday from the county to continue funding for the Career Offenders, Burglary. Robbery and Assault, or COBRA Team.

In an Oct. 30 letter addressed to then-Mayor Cameron Smyth, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said the funds from the Citizen’s Option for Public Safety grant would allow the sheriff department to continue combating youth crime and partially pay for the salary of COBRA Team members.

“In the past years, in addition to COBRA Team’s mission of working to decrease gang activity, graffiti, and other juvenile crimes, they have also provided gang and drug education awareness for all seventh-grade students in Santa Clarita, and are an integral part of the Teen Court intervention and the City of Santa Clarita Community Court Diversion programs,” the sheriff said.

City documents showed the city has been eligible for the funds since the law that spawned them, the Schiff-Cardenas Crime Prevention Act, was signed into law by Gov. Gray Davis in 2000.

“The funds awarded are based on population, with each entity receiving a minimum grant of $100,000. The city’s allocation for fiscal year 2017-18 is $331,017,” the city staff report said.

As part of Tuesday’s vote, the city will appropriate $406,050, which includes the COPS grant money plus additional funding for deputies. City officials said using grant funding to pay for the deputies allows the county to charge the city a significantly lower rate.

The cost of the program will be offset by the grant funds, according to city documents.

Vandalism defacing homes in Valencia Summit, a probation sweep and the arrest of a 17-year-old Canyon Country boy on suspicion of attempted murder after the boy allegedly stabbed and beat a man with a baseball bat were among the incidents the COBRA Team investigated last year.

The city council meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 23920 Valencia Blvd.

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