The program that tries to identify and help young students at risk of joining gangs is taking to the streets.
The , or GRIP, has had a "greeter program" for a few years, signing up parents and other volunteers simply to offer a friendly face as students come to campus in the morning.
But two weeks ago, the greeter program expanded to include the four bus stops in Las Villas where children wait for transportation to .
, the San Juan Capistrano school resources officer with the Orange County Sheriff's Department, said he's been planning the new program since Thanksgiving.
That's because students – and even their parents – would fight over getting in line first to board the bus, Abe said.
Sometimes, parents would even leave a paper bag full of paper on the corner the night before to preserve a space, said Jose Luis Pedraza, assistant principal at Kinoshita.
In addition, the kids would often run around not far off from busy traffic, Abe said.
Finally, sometimes other students who didn't have a bus pass would try to sneak on the bus, he said.
"We didn't know what to do. I couldn't come out every day," Pedraza said.
So the idea was born to take the greeter concept out into the neighborhood.
Tweny parents volunteered to work the bus routes, and Abe and other law enforcement officials are already calling it a success.
"Overall, we're extremely grateful," Pedraza said.