City of Stockton: Operation Peacekeeper
2010 CCS Partnership Intergovernmental Collaboration Award
Operation Peacekeeper is an innovative program with a specific mission of reducing youth gang membership and violence. Youth outreach workers, formerly gang members themselves, were screened and hired by the city to interact with youths and to provide positive alternatives to gang membership through long-term mentoring. Workers also coordinate delivery of various resources. Youths are primarily 10-18 years old and oftentimes they have already exhibited violence and/or been handled within the criminal justice system. A systematic approach is used to evaluate each youth referred to the program. As youths progress they are provided more services and the critical component of having at least one responsible adult (the outreach worker) in their lives. Successful steps are recognized and rewarded with a combination of praise, stipends, field trips etc. A strong partnership between Operation Peacekeeper program staff and governmental agencies, along with non-profit and community-based organizations, makes prevention/intervention efforts effective. The program is located in the city manager’s office.