October 14

Tulare County Probation officials want to stem the blight of gangs and graffiti in the unincorporated community of Poplar by offering a Step Up event this weekend.

The Step Up to Our Future Poplar, scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, is designed to encourage and support families to work together as a community and provide contacts with local public safety and social service agencies of Tulare County. The event will be held at Pleasant View Elementary School, 18900 Ave. 145 in Poplar.

Tulare County Chief Probation Officer Janet Honadle said families are invited to attend the free event, which will include a resource fair featuring more than 10 organizations, free food and drinks, bounce houses, and a raffle for children and adults.

“Our hope is that by providing residents with information in a positive setting, Poplar will be empowered to address problems such as gangs and graffiti,” said Chief Honadle, whose department is coordinating the Step Up event.

District One Supervisor Allen Ishida, who represents Poplar, said the event will be a great first step to fight gang influences.

“Bringing in the Step Up program is a move in the right direction to addressing the gang issue in the Poplar,” Supervisor Ishida said. “Families are encouraged to attend the event and take advantage of the resources that will be made available to them.”

Chief Honadle said the Probation Department will continue to partner with organizations and hold Step Up events to promote positive relationships with Tulare County communities to eliminate gang activity. In May, the Probation Department hosted a similar Step Up event in Traver.

Chief Honadle said the Probation Department will continue to utilize its Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) officers to teach gang awareness to both children and adults in both Poplar and Traver.