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Memphis Police Department G.R.E.A.T. Families Training

By: Officer Ron Polk

In 2005, the Memphis Police Department G.R.E.A.T. Unit embraced the concept that the family plays a critical role in our society and in the training of the generation to come. Annually, officers assigned to the G.R.E.A.T. unit commit to a 6 week family strengthening program known as G.R.E.A.T. Families Training.

Our programmatic thrust is to strengthen communities by strengthening families through engaging parents and youth in cooperative lessons geared toward better communication among family members and enhancing family decision making skills.

We realize that the family is of vital importance and has priority over society and the state. Every social model that intends to serve the good of man must not overlook the social responsibility of the family. Pope John Paul II once stated “as the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live”. The family should be a community of persons where moral values are taught and the positive attributes of society are passed on. The Memphis Police Department has taken a proactive approach in dealing with issues critical to accomplishing just that. During our 6 week training, our families are educated on topics including but not limited to:

  • Truth and Myths About Gangs
  • Overcoming Communication Barriers
  • Active Listening Skills
  • Effective Discipline
  • Family Priorities
  • Family action Plan
  • Internet Safety

Quality family relationships are increasingly important in our society. With pressures and issues like drugs, sex, and gangs, which children are facing today, the need for open communication and positive family relationships is vital. Today’s children face dangers not known in the past. Children are being taught not to blindly obey an adult’s requests if it could be a safety risk. As a result, adults are no longer perceived by children as infallible. The upshot is that children are encouraged to think and decide for themselves and to be more assertive (and often more aggressive) than children in previous generations. These new standards may hinder the development of a healthy relationship between and among family members.

Most parents want their children to feel free to talk to them, yet don’t always know how they can foster this type of relationship. The Memphis Police Department G.R.E.A.T. Families Training provides the parents with communication strategies involving both talking and listening to the child. There is a direct connection between how children feel and how they behave. If a child feels he/she can communicate with a parent or care giver, they are less inclined to make uninformed and risky decisions. Since the family remains the core of American society, it is paramount that we engage parents and children in learning experiences which will fortify that institution.

Since the inception of the Memphis Police Department G.R.E.A.T. Families Training, several Memphis families have successfully completed our program. We take great pride in providing our families with information and training that will ultimately contribute to success of a wholesome respectable community.

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