Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $123,927)
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.
The City of Waterbury, Connecticut, through the Waterbury Police Department, will utilize fiscal year 2007 G.R.E.A.T. funds to implement the elementary and middle school components in an effort to combat the steady increase of gang-related activity in the community and reach those who are at the highest risk for gang involvement. Waterbury Police records indicate there are approximately 400 known active gang members who often recruit in areas frequented by youth. The program will deter gang involvement, prevent violence, and promote a positive bond between youth, educators, and law enforcement during early developmental years.