U.S.A. News

Law Enforcement Uses G.R.E.A.T. to Deter Gang Membership

In an effort to deter youth from joining gangs, like MS-13, law enforcement is turning more and more to gang prevention programs to offer a sense of community to youth who are potentially at risk. Click here to view a news clip of how the Suffolk County, New York, Sheriff's Office is utilizing the G.R.E.A.T. Program to prevent youth violence and gang joining while providing positive influences and a sense of belonging to its community’s youth.

Tuition Changes for GOTs

Repeated reductions in G.R.E.A.T. funding over the last several years have made it increasingly difficult for the G.R.E.A.T. Program to meet the many requests for training that it continues to receive. For many years, G.R.E.A.T. was able to provide training free of charge through a grant from the Department of Justice and could deliver the training wherever there was enough interest to fill a training class. Unfortunately, the current level of funding no longer supports that practice. Current plans call for centrally located trainings in five geographical regions of the U.S., in order to reach as many areas of the country as possible with the very limited budget. G.R.E.A.T. Officer Trainings (GOT) will now charge tuition of $395 per participant, which covers less than half of the total cost of training but will allow stretching the budget dollars to provide more trainings than would otherwise be possible.

G.R.E.A.T. has the capability of providing additional GOTs beyond these regionally centralized ones; however, additional trainings will only be possible if there are alternative sources of funding. G.R.E.A.T. is still a very inexpensive program to operate once instructors have been trained. However, the cost of G.R.E.A.T. Officer Training is higher than many agencies anticipate. The G.R.E.A.T. training model uses a team of trainers, rather than a single trainer. With travel and subsistence costs for the training team, contract fees, and costs for production and shipping of training materials, full costs can run close to or even exceed $1000 per participant, depending on the location and size of the class.

Although it is possible to bring the training directly to agencies that are able to cover the associated costs, few agencies need to train enough officers at once to fill a training class, and many agencies may find the training costs prohibitive to fund a training on their own. For most agencies, the best option for certifying officers as G.R.E.A.T. instructors will be sending them to one of the regional GOTs and paying the tuition of just $395 per participant (plus a credit card surcharge if payment is made by credit card). If scheduling a dedicated training may be a viable option for your agency, please contact the G.R.E.A.T. Program Office for more information.

Choose to Be G.R.E.A.T. Week – October 19–23, 2015

The second annual “Choose to Be G.R.E.A.T.” Week is only a month away; how are you and your agency preparing? With the success of our first annual “Choose to Be G.R.E.A.T.” Day, we have extended it to a week, allowing all of our G.R.E.A.T. students and instructors to participate during their scheduled class time.

The G.R.E.A.T. Pledge can be downloaded from your Instructor/Applicant Resources account.

Name the G.R.E.A.T. Bird Contest

The G.R.E.A.T. Bird needs a name, and who better to help name the G.R.E.A.T. Bird than G.R.E.A.T. students? The Name the G.R.E.A.T. Bird contest began on August 31,and all applications are due to the G.R.E.A.T. Program Office by October 9, 2015. The Name the G.R.E.A.T. Bird contest applications and instructions have been e-mailed to G.R.E.A.T. instructors.

"Choose to Be G.R.E.A.T." Day – October 1, 2014

The first annual "Choose to Be G.R.E.A.T." Day is less than a week away on October 1, 2014; are you prepared? Have you printed out the G.R.E.A.T. Pledge? What about recording or taking pictures of your students signing the pledge? Is your state preparing a proclamation, and if so, have you decided when and where the proclamation will be presented? It is important to have these questions answered in order to be best prepared to make this first annual event a success.

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