Our current program is the SAW Coalition. This program works to support and sustain a community effort to provide youth with relationships and resources that will assist them in making better decisions for their lives. The coalition meets the second Friday of every month at the Augusta County Government Center, Smith Transfer Room.
How it Works
The SAW Coalition facilitates collaborations and directs resources that assist youth in avoiding gang participation or getting out of a gang. This is done through educational presentations, guest speakers, volunteer placement, and supporting community grassroots initiatives.
Who Should Participate
School personnel, social service professionals, law enforcement and probation officers, clergy members, mental health professionals, representatives from other youth-serving organizations, and interested citizens from Staunton, Waynesboro, or Augusta County.
Funding for gang prevention efforts is provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, and Justice Assistance Grants in collaboration with the Augusta County Sheriff's Office, Staunton Police Department, and Waynesboro Police Department.
The SAW Coalition, originally known as SAW 2010, is a dual focused gang and substance abuse prevention community Coalition initiated by the Office on Youth in 2007. The mission is “To create and implement intentional strategies to prevent youth from involvement in criminal gang activity, drug use, violence, and other risky behavior.”
The Coalition serves the Virginia communities of Staunton, Augusta County, and Waynesboro. This area includes the 2nd largest geographical county in Virginia and includes 118,502 citizens. Within this community we serve 7 High, 6 Middle, 19 Elementary, and 1 alternative and technical school uses by all localities.
The Coalition uses several different methods to increase the knowledge and awareness in the community. Some of these include: Working with the SADD clubs in the High Schools, Community Media Campaigns, and the Comprehensive Gang Model (CGM) to accurately reflect the current gang status of our community.