EVERETT – Community members are invited to join Mayor Cassie Franklin and Everett Police for an International Gang Awareness Day event on Monday, Sept. 17, from 6:30-8 p.m. at Explorer Middle School (9600 Sharon Dr.). Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from Mayor Franklin, Gang Resource Officer Anthony Fletcher, Andre Graham from the Boys & Girls Club and Gang Detective Jeff Nevin and ask questions about gang activity and how the community can get involved.
In 2017, the city of Everett experienced a significant increase in youth, gang-related and firearm-related crime. Mayor Franklin identified this as a top public safety priority and issued a directive outlining six initiatives, including a focus on prevention and intervention of gang involvement among Everett’s youth population.
“Our City teams are working in close partnership with the community and local partners to help reduce youth gang violence,” said Mayor Franklin. “Creating healthy pathways for our youth is critical to reducing the violence we’ve seen and it will take us all working together to make that happen.”
Since January, City and Everett Police staff have been working with community stakeholders, including a community advisory group, to research solutions and provide recommendations. Through their work, the teams recognized the need for a comprehensive resource list, better framework for connecting youth and their families to existing services, and a community-driven program that rewards youth for positive behavior.
In coordination with local partners, the City will implement a three-part approach, with the goal of identifying at-risk individuals and connecting youth and families with resources:
- Resource guide: Create a comprehensive list of the currently available prevention and intervention services within Snohomish County.
- Positive Intervention Outreach Team (PIVOT) for Youth: The multi-discipline review team will identify individual youth who are at high risk for youth and gang violence. The team will categorize specific needs, challenges and opportunities before creating an action plan.
- Pathways for Adolescent Youth (PAY) Program: The program will provide community role models and positive reinforcement for youth who are at high risk for youth and gang violence. The program will initially focus on Explorer Middle School with school staff and Everett Police School Resource Officers selecting participants. Parents of selected students will be involved and the youth will receive incentives and recognition for positive behavior as a replacement for “rewards” and lure of involvement with gangs.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County agreed to temporarily provide a full-time staff member, Andre Graham, to assist Everett Police in the start-up of these programs. Graham brings seven years of experience working with at-risk youth and is passionate about seeing direct and positive change in youth.
“Working in partnership with our community and leveraging the expertise that exists is key to reducing youth, gun and gang violence,” said Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman. “The knowledge and experience that Andre brings will be instrumental in getting these programs up and running.”
The Everett Police Department has also recently selected Officer Anthony Fletcher to serve in a newly created Gang Resource Officer position. His new role will allow him to work closely with partners and members of the community to combat the issues of gang and youth violence.
For more information about the City’s efforts to reduce youth gun and gang violence visit www.everettwa.gov/youth