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Review for Sheriff's Community Impact Program, Sacramento, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I retired from the Sacramento Sheriff's Department in 2007 after 31 years of service. A good portion of my years were spent working with disadvantaged and troubled youth who were involved with drugs, gangs, and violent behaviors. Shortly after retirement I was approached by Mike Saigeon, (founder and director for the Sheriff's Community Impact Program), who shared with me his vision for providing services for the youth in the Arden Arcade area, and he offered me a chance to continue my work with youth. Mike and I had been linked together through the Sheriff's Safe School Program and Mike knew my interest in this area.

In 2011, the Deputy Friend Program was born. This program features uniformed officers from the Sacramento Sheriff's Department interacting on campus with 6 elementary school communities in the Arden Arcade area of Sacramento County. Sounds like a School Resource Officer Program. Yes, but this program is funded by a grant acquired through SCIP and not the area law enforcement agency. A unique program for our area, it has allowed officers to become a welcome addition to school sites as we have focus on supporting and building the positive feelings most students have towards law enforcement, allowing the students and staff a chance to have a 1 on 1 relationship with an officer, and learn first hand why we have police and what police really do in our communities. We walk the campus greeting everyone with a smile, shaking hands or giving high 5's. We read to students, provide classroom presentations on safety issues, and meet with staff and parent groups upon requests.

It is unfortunate law enforcement agencies don't always have funding to provide this type of service for elementary schools, but the Sheriff's Community Impact Program stepped in to fill this void and has supported Deputy Friend with grant funding from Kaiser Permanente and collaborative agreements with San Juan Unified and the Sacramento Sheriff's Department which has allowed the program to function and deliver these services to our community. I am very appreciative for the opportunity and without SCIP I don't think we would have the Deputy Friend Program.

Role:  Volunteer