With gang-related crime on the rise in Santa Cruz County, local law enforcement agencies and community members are coming together to take back their streets.
With the assistance of an interactive website, the Santa Cruz Police Department is keeping the community safer and more informed.
Not many people would expect to find the site of the most prolific drug problem in the county in such a serene environment. But at a September meeting of local organization Santa Cruz Neighbors, Steve Carney, former head of the Sheriff’s Office Narcotic Enforcement Team, shared some surprising information: Pogonip State Park, located directly across Coolidge Drive from Stevenson College, is the “meth capital” of Santa Cruz County, where between 10 and 30 drug arrests are sometimes made in a single 10-hour police shift.
It’s about that time of night: eleven o’ clock — maybe 11:45 on a lucky night. Less inebriated attendees sense it will happen any minute. It’s sudden but predictable: knock on door, music stops, expletives are hurled, beers fall out of hands — the cops have arrived to break up yet another Santa Cruz house party.
This recurring scenario seems to be something that students have grown to accept. It has become an unavoidable part of attending college in a city that refuses to be called a ‘college town’.
Since the founding of UC Santa Cruz in 1965, the relationship between residents and students has been a tenuous one, to say the least.
To encourage a conversation between the two groups, the Santa Cruz Neighbors, an organization representing a network of local residents, hosted a meeting last Tuesday with UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal to discuss city residents’ concerns with the university and its students.