Perhaps Anaheim IS more like Santa Ana than we thought

I recently compared Santa Ana’s crime statistics to Anaheim’s crime statistics and Red County blog editor Matt “Jubal” Cunningham had a cow.  He stated that the two cities were dissimilar.  However, a story in today’s L.A. Times underscored the similarities between the two neighboring cities.

“A man was killed and a 15-year-old boy seriously wounded when five suspected gang members started shooting at a graduation party in Anaheim, authorities said Saturday,” according to the L.A. Times.

I guess there is a difference.  There aren’t that many graduation parties in Santa Ana, not with almost 60% of Santa Ana Unified School District students failing to graduate.  Most either drop out or fail to pass the high school exit exam.

According to the L.A. Times article, the shooter at the graduation party was in a group of five uninvited males.  They fled after the shooting and have not been found.  Probably headed back to Santa Ana – or Los Angeles.

The victim of the attack was only 21 years old.  How very tragic.  Apparently he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  He was not a gang member.  But he certainly was a victim of gang violence.

Clearly the gang problem in Orange County has escaped the borders of the county seat, Santa Ana.  When will the local elected officials of Orange County realize that the problem is now a countywide issue?  It is about time for a countywide anti-gang task force.  This problem needs to be addressed NOW before Orange County becomes another L.A. County.  While the owner of the Angels baseball team might like that, most of us won’t be happy of our county ends up as gang-ridden as L.A. County.

Our new O.C. Sheriff, Sandra Hutchens, ought to make this anti-gang task force a priority.  Her department already serves much of the county.  She is in a good position to coordinate with other police departments to stop this problem.

The flip side of this issue is that education is a major problem in many parts of the county, particularly in Santa Ana.  When kids drop out or fail to graduate, many of them end up in gangs.  We need to solve our education issues if we want to stop the gangs.  The sad thing is that the worst school district in Orange County, in Santa Ana, is not likely to get any better in November.  Most of the announced candidates for the SAUSD school board are bereft of education, experience and/or common sense.

The people of Orange County can ignore the problems in their county seat up to a point.  Sooner or later Santa Ana’s crime and gang problems will spread to the rest of the county.  Folks may not wake up to the problem in time.  Anaheim certainly is headed for major problems, even with all their Disney tax revenue.  Despite Cunningham’s protestations, there are indeed many poor people in Anaheim and too many of them appear to be caught up in gang lifestyles.

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.