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The Suffolk Police Department - Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $67,562)

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.

In an effort to educate and deter youth from joining gangs, the Suffolk Police Department (SPD) will implement the Middle and Summer Components of the G.R.E.A.T. program. The G.R.E.A.T. curriculum is consistent with the goal of the Suffolk Public Schools to improve academics and school safety. The G.R.E.A.T. Middle School Component will focus on the 6th grade level in Suffolk's four middle schools. The program will reach all 1,066 sixth graders as part of their health and physical education classes. The SPD will also implement the G.R.E.A.T. program in the alternative day and night schools offered by Suffolk Public Schools. The alternative day and night schools provide a structured learning environment for students with academic, disciplinary, and other problems which prevent them from attending the regular middle and high schools. Many of these students exhibit behaviors that put them at-risk of joining gangs. The G.R.E.A.T. program will reach 90 students enrolled in the alternative and night schools. The SPD will also provide a G.R.E.A.T. Summer Component to youth enrolled in the Suffolk Department of Parks and Recreation and the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority Summer Enrichment Programs. A majority of the youth enrolled in the Summer Enrichment Programs are from low-income families. The Summer Component will reach 215 at-risk youth between the ages of 13 to 17 years old.

The SPD will send two additional officers to receive G.R.E.A.T. training and once trained, they will rotate into the instructional team. This will provide additional coverage for the G.R.E.A.T. instructional staff and allow for future expansion of the program.


Date Created: August 29, 2007