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Omaha Police Department Middle Schools G.R.E.A.T. Program

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2006, $60,000)

The Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program is a life-skills competency program designed to provide students with the skills they need to avoid gang pressure and youth violence. G.R.E.A.T.'s violence prevention curriculum helps students develop values and practice behaviors that will assist them to avoid destructive activities. The G.R.E.A.T. program coordinates with federal, regional, state and local agencies, as well as individuals from community and civic groups. The goal of the G.R.E.A.T. program is to train law enforcement officers in a school-based curriculum in which the officers provide instruction to school-aged children in life skill competencies, gang awareness, and anti-violence techniques. Training in the core G.R.E.A.T. program is provided to officers from any state or local law enforcement agency.

Omaha is the largest urban city in the State of Nebraska with an estimated population of more than 404,000 residents. The Omaha Police Department's (OPD) records reflect that juveniles between the ages of twelve and eighteen are significant contributors to Omaha's accelerating crime rate. In 2005, the ODP recorded a 16% increase of suspected gang members compared to 2004 gang data. This increase in the gang population is a reflection of the 28 gangs and 2,679 suspected gang members documented in Omaha. Youth assessment research has consistently shown that education, peer pressure and improper use of leisure time are the top three risk factors for Omaha's youth. These assessments affirm that poor academic performance, peer rejection, associations with delinquents and lack of involvement in positive youth activities are factors that will usually lead to violent behavior in youths. Gang memberships provide youths with low self esteem, a feeling of acceptance, respect and physical safety. The Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T) curriculum provides a forum for School Resource Officers to alleviate these issues and develop positive relationships between law enforcement, families and at-risk youth. FY 2006 G.R.E.A.T. funds will implement the middle school component within Omaha by providing more than 3,430 students from the 12 middle schools throughout the city with a violence prevention program. This competency-based curriculum is designed for adolescents to strive for and accept nonviolent behavior by thinking logically and adopting appropriate social and life skills. Upon the successful establishment and utilization of the GREAT middle school component, the OPD will develop and implement the family and summer components of the program.


Date Created: September 18, 2006