Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $107,370)
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 Rio Rancho Department of Public Safety intends to use the 2007 G.R.E.A.T. funding to reach out to the youth of the city in an effort to reduce youth crime, violence, and gang affiliation. The other benefits include a safer school and community, and will afford the department the opportunity to interact in a positive environment. The recently implemented Community Partnership Initiative, based on the community policing concept, is indicative of the commitment the Rio Rancho Department of Public Safety has towards creating a safe and crime-free environment for the community. The addition of the G.R.E.A.T. elementary school component will further the goal of positive interaction with the city's youth and the goals of the Community Partnership Initiative. The department will build upon their current G.R.E.A.T. program at the 7th grade level and will reach out to the 5th, 6th and 7th graders, and at-risk youth.