CDCR and CCHCS staff support a wide variety of nonprofit organizations via Our Promise: California State Employees Giving Back at Work. An organization Correctional Counselor III Eric Patao supports is directly related to CDCR’s public safety focus – the Central Coast Gang Investigator Association (CCGIA).
Patao, who serves as San Quentin State Prison’s Classification and Parole Representative, recently became an executive board member for CCGIA. The group works to educate all law enforcement with up-to-date gang intelligence offered at an affordable cost. Armed with this information and shared best practices, peace officers statewide are better equipped to respond to gang-related crimes and investigations, with the goal of stopping deadly criminal activities in their tracks.
Many of the workshops and seminars taught by CCGIA are certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). Information focuses on organized crime from high-level Mexican Mafia activities to motorcycle gangs and street violence. Instructors are hand-selected, highly experienced subject matter experts who share their knowledge not only with law enforcement, but also with at-risk youth and communities impacted by gang violence.
“CCGIA is always seeking instructors that have new information, techniques, and who are currently assigned to gang investigations,” Patao said. “CCGIA can travel to other areas and teach on a wide variety of topics, to suit any agency’s needs. Lastly, we want attendees to enjoy our conferences and classes and at the same time go away with vital information, current intelligence, and real techniques they can bring back to their departments.”
San Quentin Sgt. Gilbert Polanco, who passed away in 2020, was an avid supporter and longtime CCGIA member who attended conferences regularly, often bringing less-experienced staff with him. That’s a tradition Patao is working to honor himself by sharing the benefits of CCGIA with his younger peers and conducting trainings himself.
CCGIA can be supported via Our Promise: California State Employees Giving Back at Work. Visit Cal Employee Connect to access the ePledge portal and make a voluntary donation via one-time or ongoing payroll deduction. The CDCR/CCHCS Our Promise campaign runs September 15 through October 15. Learn more at https://www.ourpromiseca.org/.