Amid growing fears of violence and efforts to seek solutions, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has revamped a program aimed at proactive outreach to the community.
Deputy Ray Wilson, who runs LASD’s SHARE program, has been trying to enroll students throughout the Santa Clarita Valley with his curriculum—an acronym for Stop Hate And Respect Everyone.
But on Monday, he was meeting and greeting SCV residents alongside Deputy Chris Craft, a zone leader for the Sheriff’s Station Crime Prevention Unit’s Saugus territory, which includes the Starbuck’s at the intersection of Newhall Ranch and Bouquet Canyon roads.
Next week, he’s heading to Coffee with a Cop in Castaic on tuesday, March 20 .
Community buy-in is a big component of the program, and Wilson wanted to let people know what he was doing, as well as answer their questions,
“Santa Clarita Valley is one of the ones we’ve been working with a good while. This year, we’ve already visited half the high schools and some of the (junior highs),” he said.
He’s also been encouraged about how the message has been spread from the classrooms.
The program uses a video and some materials created by the Museum of Tolerance, which help teach how proactively addressing discussions of hate and violence early on can make an impact.
Law enforcement officials have noticed those two topics “usually are tied to behavior that rises to the level of criminal activity and sometimes very violent activity,” he added.
But, he has been encouraged by the campus support by some of the initiative he’s seen.
“We’ve noticed that since we’ve revamped this and relaunched it, some of the schools now are posting their own programs,” Wilson said, mentioning the social inclusion efforts students are making to ensure their peers aren’t left out.
Locally for example, Charles Helmers Elementary School recently conducted an “Inclusion Week.”
For more information on the program, email [email protected].