Mayor Beverly O'Neill


1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.

The Departmentís Investigations Bureau, Youth Services Division oversees the J-Car Program, which is staffed with a sergeant and six juvenile detectives who provide a uniformed presence on and around Long Beach Unified School District campuses. These detectives are in a unique position to develop the expertise necessary to enforce juvenile laws and effectively liaison between the schools and juvenile investigators, gang investigators, and probation staff.

The J-Car detectives are actively involved in the entire spectrum of youth services prevention, intervention, and suppression activities. They counsel students and they are members of the Student Attendance Review Board (SARB), which empanels members of the school district, business/community leaders, probation, and police to review student attendance records, counsel families, and draft student performance contracts. They also provide home visitation, along with school staff to discuss truancy and behavior issues with parents.

Utilizing marked patrol vehicles, they conduct loitering/truancy investigations and enforce laws related to the health and welfare of juveniles, including tobacco laws and laws pertaining to the possession of alcohol, paint and markers. These detectives also directly intervene in crimes being committed on school campuses and make arrests when appropriate. Additionally, they are responsible for enforcing juvenile arrest warrants.

2. When was the program created and why?

The program was created in 1945, in an effort to make our schools safer and better places for learning. The program has evolved over the years increasing its effectiveness and efficiency.

3. How do you measure the programís effectiveness?

The programís effectiveness is measured by a combination of an increase in the school districtís attendance rates and a corresponding reduction in crimes generally associated with juveniles, such as loitering, theft, assaults and burglaries.

4. How is the program financed?

The program is funded through the Police Departmentís general fund budget.

5. How is the community involved in the program, if at all? How has the community responded to the program?

J-Car detectives are often called upon to make community presentations on school and juvenile related issues. They also work closely with businesses, parents, and community-based organizations. They are very well received.

6. Contact person:

Lieutenant Gary Richens

Youth Services Division

1957 Pacific Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90806

(562) 570-1458

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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