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December 28, 1955 – May 31, 2011

With the recent passing of Steve Naughton, the G.R.E.A.T. Program lost one of its finest supporters and dearest friends. Steve was a Philadelphia police sergeant and the former G.R.E.A.T. Northeast Regional Administrator. First in his role as a patrol officer and G.R.E.A.T. instructor and later as a supervisor and administrator, he positively impacted the lives of thousands of school children in Philadelphia and also assisted hundreds of fellow officers from throughout the Northeast Region and other parts of the country. Steve’s influence, not only in Philadelphia but as part of the national leadership of the G.R.E.A.T. Program, was immeasurable. The quality of Steve’s character and the importance of his contributions to G.R.E.A.T. are reflected in the remembrance of him below, written by two of his closest associates on the G.R.E.A.T. National Training Committee.

Steve Naughton: A Friend of G.R.E.A.T. and a Great Friend

By Warren Harding and Raj Ramnarace

The news of Steve Naughton’s passing on May 31, 2011, came as a shock to those of us who had the pleasure of knowing Steve. We knew him as a true champion who had a passion for helping others, especially kids. Our relationships with Steve took a variety of forms: we knew him as a supervisor, as a peer, and always as a friend.

Steve truly cared about people. He demonstrated that caring both in his personal life and in his professional life. Steve supported the people in his unit, and he worked feverishly on behalf of children through the G.R.E.A.T. Program. Later, as the Regional Administrator of the Northeast Region, Steve helped spread G.R.E.A.T. throughout his region by providing practical solutions to law enforcement agencies looking for help with their gang and youth violence problems. His legacy from his 16 years of service to G.R.E.A.T. is evident not only in Philadelphia but in communities from Virginia to Maine.

As the longest-serving member of the G.R.E.A.T. National Training Committee (NTC), Steve was always a voice of reason with his peers. He often helped resolve differences between us. His voice on the NTC was consistently supportive of officers in the trenches. That attitude extended to his regional trainings, too. Whenever he and Karen Preston conducted trainings, the training staff and the officers in training were treated like royalty. As a result of his dedication to the national program through the National Training Committee, his influence flowed beyond the border of the region for which he was responsible and touched the lives of children and police officers across the country.

During our many trips across the country, Steve’s family was always first and foremost on his mind. His family (Karen, Daniel, and Michaela) were part of our G.R.E.A.T. family. On Sunday training setups and at graduations, Daniel or Michaela were regular guests. Steve’s passing marks the tragic end of a life and career well spent. For those of us who knew him and loved him, his legacy will endure.

For any of his many friends and colleagues across the country who wish to do something tangible to honor his memory, his family has asked that contributions be sent to F.O.P. Lodge 5, 1336 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123, and designated for the G.R.E.A.T. Program in memory of Steve Naughton.

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