May 8, 2014

At-Risk Youth and Parents Have Another Resource - BASTA!

We are pleased to announce the launch of the BASTA Website; a bilingual county-wide resource for gang awareness, prevention and intervention.  

The Website can be found here

Many of you are aware of the Police Department's P.R.I.D.E. program.  P.R.I.D.E. stands for Personally Responsible Individual Development in Ethics.  I know....somebody really wanted to make an acronym there.  But don't get hung up on the name.  It is the substance of the program and the kids' lives we are changing that make the difference.  

In addition to P.R.I.D.E., we worked to form the North County BASTA program with a whole lot of help from our friends.  

You might be thinking.....What is BASTA??? 

BASTA is a countywide collaborative formed for the purpose of keeping schools and the community safe by reducing and preventing youth gang violence, school truancy, suspensions, expulsions, and alcohol and drug abuse. BASTA stands for Broad-based Apprehension, Suppression, Treatment and Alternatives and in Spanish BASTA means “enough!” 

North County BASTA programs include the North County Operations Team, BASTA Intervention groups, BASTA Summer Sports Camp, Parent Education trainings and the BASTA website. South County BASTA programs include BASTA Tech Team, BASTA Intervention Team, CIT (Critical Incident Team), PAL (Police Activities League), Caminos, Valor and Azteca Soccer Program

The BASTA website was created in collaboration with a whole bunch of people we need to mention such as:  The Criminal Justice Council of Santa Cruz County, Santa Cruz County Office of Education, the Santa Cruz Police Department, the Watsonville Police Department, Santa Cruz County Probation and the Santa Cruz County Gang Task Force.  

One of the most important features is that the Website provides tools for parents, teachers and community members to recognize early signs of gang involvement and strategies to prevent or intervene.

This is a great resource for some of our most popular questions like, "how do I know if my kid is hanging out with gang members?", the ever-popular state of denial, "my kids isn't a gang member they just like those colors and like to dress that way, and do those funny things with their hands".  Wake up.......your kid is on their way to becoming a card-carrying gangster.   

You can find more gang resource information on the Police Department's Gang Resource page here:

Thanks to our collaborators for this effort and getting information into the hands of parents and other community members to help make a difference.