Sen. Cannella Meets with Monterey County Officials to Discuss Public Safety Issues

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Consistent with his continued commitment to building strong working relationships between local and state representatives, State Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) today met with Monterey County officials to discuss issues relating to gang violence and public safety in the region.

“As a former mayor, I know just how important it is for our elected officials at the local and state levels to work together to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing our communities today. Here in Salinas, where gang violence has hurt and destroyed many lives, it’s particularly important that we never lose sight of government’s first and foremost responsibility: keeping our streets and citizens safe,” said Cannella. “Today’s meetings provided a firsthand look at the good work happening in Monterey County to fight gang violence in a coordinated, comprehensive way. The public servants I talked with are truly those ‘in the trenches,’ and I appreciated hearing their feedback and insight on what we can do to ensure a safer, more secure future for our families and our communities.”

Last week, Salinas city officials announced that they will launch the Salinas Comprehensive Strategy for Community-wide Violence Reduction within the next month. Coordinated by the Community Alliance for Safety and Peace, a coalition of city, county and public agencies dedicated to reducing youth violence, this new gang-prevention strategy will focus its efforts in the Hebbron neighborhood, which is known for high gang and criminal activity.

Salinas PD Violence Suppression Unit
Photo Caption: Sen. Anthony Cannella meets with officers from the Salinas Police Department Violence Suppression Unit prior to a morning ride-along through some of Salinas’s highest crime areas.
Photo Credit: Jessica Hsiang, Office of Senator Anthony Cannella

Following a ride-along with the Salinas Police Department through some of the city’s highest crime areas, Sen. Cannella met with Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue and participated in the mayor’s weekly press conference.

“Support from our state representatives will be crucial to the success of our anti-gang campaign and our other efforts to protect public safety,” Mayor Donohue added. “I appreciated Sen. Cannella’s frankness about our state’s dire budget situation, as well as his commitment to work with us in the years ahead to ensure we always put the safety of our communities first.”

Senator Cannella
Photo Caption: Sen. Cannella discusses his commitment to public safety and job creation during Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue’s weekly press conference.
Photo Credit: Jessica Hsiang, Office of Senator Anthony Cannella

Later in the afternoon, Sen. Cannella attended a meeting of the Monterey County Joint Gang Task Force (GTF). Launched in 2005, the GTF aims to combat gang violence and related problems through a coordinated, concentrated effort by all local law enforcement agencies. In addition to ensuring a countywide law enforcement program, the task force also helps increase communication among Monterey County law enforcement agencies so they can share the latest gang-related information. The GTF includes representatives from the Salinas Police Department, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, the California Highway Patrol, the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office, the Monterey County Probation Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Monterey County Joint Gang Task Force
Photo Caption: Sen. Cannella attends a meeting of the Monterey County Joint Gang Task Force. From left to right: Pacific Grove Police Chief Darius Engles, Monterey County Undersheriff Max Houser, Sen. Anthony Cannella, Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue.
Photo Credit: Jessica Hsiang, Office of Senator Anthony Cannella