U.S.A. News

New Shipping Charges for G.R.E.A.T. Student Handbooks Since 2006, the G.R.E.A.T. Program Office has provided G.R.E.A.T. Student Handbooks and related materials free of charge to all active, certified G.R.E.A.T. instructors. Over the last few years, we have been able to maintain this practice despite continually shrinking grant appropriations. However, the combination of the reduction in available grant resources and rising shipping costs has now made the practice unsustainable. We will continue to cover the cost of producing the handbooks, certificates, and family letters, but it will be necessary from this point forward for participating agencies to pay the cost of having these free materials shipped to you. Effective immediately, handbook orders will include a shipping charge of $20 per carton of 50 for middle school handbooks and $17.50 per carton of 50 for elementary school handbooks. Payment can be made by credit card from the online order form; by using this method, there will be no delay in shipment. If payment is made by check, the order can still be placed online, but the shipment cannot be released until the payment is received. We regret that this change in policy has become necessary and hope that it will not affect your agency’s ability to provide the G.R.E.A.T. Program to the youth of your community. Although this means that the required materials for the Program are no longer entirely without cost, the cost remains quite low at just 35 to 40 cents per student. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact us at (800) 726-7070 or information@great-online.org.
New Optional G.R.E.A.T. Classroom Tool: G.R.E.A.T. Citizen Essay Contest Template Have you ever wondered what G.R.E.A.T. students are doing to demonstrate that they know what it means to be a G.R.E.A.T. citizen? The G.R.E.A.T. Program has developed a new tool to find out and to further engage the students: an essay template that allows G.R.E.A.T. instructors to host an essay writing contest for your students. With it, the students can creatively share what they do that aligns with G.R.E.A.T. principles and values and what makes them G.R.E.A.T. citizens! A special thanks to G.R.E.A.T. Officer Marilyn Gurnell of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department for originating this idea. This template is available for use by all G.R.E.A.T. instructors and is completely optional. It can be found on the Instructors Resources page of the G.R.E.A.T. website. The template also includes writing space for the students, although more pages can be attached, if needed. One idea for implementing the template is to have students share their essays with the class and vote for a winner. Involving the community in celebrating the essay contest winners is another way to implement the template and foster positive relationships between law enforcement officers, their students, and the communities that they serve. To share your essays with us, please email information@great-online.org. We are eager to read about all of the G.R.E.A.T. things your students are doing!
G.R.E.A.T. Program aims to keep kids busy, out of trouble

Read about how G.R.E.A.T. Instructor Mark Bennett and the Metropolitan Nashville, Tennessee, Police Department (MNPD) are using their Summer G.R.E.A.T. Program to provide a positive outlet to youth in their time off from school.


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. 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.

WPD Helps Local Youth at Annual G.R.E.A.T. Camp

News Release from Woodburn Police
Posted on FlashAlert: June 24th, 2016 10:55 AM

This week Woodburn Police Officers Craig Halupowski and Bill Nightingale conducted the annual G.R.E.A.T Summer Camp, which saw 20 youth successfully complete the program this year. G.R.E.A.T. stands for Gang Resistance Education and Training and is a national program that relies on evidence-based and effective gang and violence prevention built around school-based, law enforcement officer-instructed curriculum.

"It is the only evidence-based program that actually results in kids making good choices to avoid violence, stay away from gangs and respect authority," said Woodburn Police Chief Jim Ferraris, who has sat on the national policy board of G.R.E.A.T. since 2003. "It is a national program, but it works like a local program and allows our officers to positively interact with youth at an early age."

The weeklong course took place this week at Valor Middle School and each child who completed the camp gets to go to Big Al's in Beaverton as a reward.

The Woodburn Police Department would like to thank Woodburn Proud and the Woodburn School District for their partnership with this program.

Campers Mingle With Cops in Miami-Dade

The activities at Deerwood Park in Richmond Heights look like what you would see at any summer recreation program. Kids are playing hoops, playing kickball, and running around having fun. What makes this camp different is the presence of police officers. The cops are playing with the kids on the court and on the field. Mingling with teens and preteens is actually a crime-fighting strategy.

"A lot of times they’re dressed just like them, they talk to them at their level, because many times the kids have a guarded relationship with the officers, they don’t feel comfortable speaking to us and our profession as a whole so this allows the communication to flow much better," said commander Edwin Lopez of the Miami-Dade Schools Police department.

To read the official news story, please click the link below.


A Day at Puyallup G.R.E.A.T. Camp

The Puyallup Tribe of Indians uses the G.R.E.A.T. Program to conduct intervention with gang-involved youth, create a safer school climate, and provide pro-social gang prevention activities to community youth. In addition to the in-class curriculum, the program provides camp opportunities for youth to participate in throughout the year. This video follows youth, teachers, officers, staff and elders through their summer camp experience, where they share stories on how the program has impacted their lives.

Please click on the link to view the video http://www.tribaljustice.org/multimedia/day-puyallup-great-camp.

Keeping Kids Safe From Guns, Bullying, and Online Predators

Keeping youths away from crime involves two paths — teaching kids how to stay safe, and deterring them from committing crimes themselves. Both Miami-Dade and Broward’s public school systems offer a variety of programs to help.

To read the official news story, please click the link below.


Attorney General Visits G.R.E.A.T. Class

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch took time out of her National Community Policing Tour to visit with 6th graders at George Middle School in Portland, OR during their G.R.E.A.T. class.

To read the official news story, please click the links below.



GOT Has Been Transformed

The G.R.E.A.T. Officer Training (GOT) has been transformed into a two-part training. The previous GOT consisted of eight days of classroom instruction with a one-hour online computer-based training. The new, streamlined GOT begins with an online training module, estimated at 9 to 10 hours, which replaces 20 hours of classroom instruction and must be completed no later than one week prior to attending the GOT. Applicants will be notified 52 days prior to the start of their training to begin online training and will have 45 days to fully complete the online training requirement. Following completion of the online training, the applicant will attend 5 days (40 hours) of classroom instruction.

G.R.E.A.T. will no longer be able to offer complimentary double-occupancy lodging for any G.R.E.A.T. trainings due to budgetary constraints. However, the G.R.E.A.T. Foundation, Inc., provides supplemental funding grants to officers nationwide to attend various G.R.E.A.T. training classes. These grants assist in paying for officers’ travel expenses.

To access the training travel grant application form, please visit the GFI Web site at http://greatfoundationinc.org and click on Funding and Programs, and then click on the link for Training Travel Grants. Complete the travel grant request form located at the bottom of the page. Applications can be e-mailed to info@greatfoundationinc.org. Please be aware that officers are asked to submit their reimbursement applications to the GFI at least 2 weeks (14 consecutive days) prior to the class registration date deadline.

Check Out the New G.R.E.A.T. Website

The G.R.E.A.T. Program is excited to announce the launch of its new, completely redesigned Web site, which features an English and Spanish interface, changeable via a toggle icon. The Web site includes interactive maps to enable visitors to view upcoming trainings in their own regions; automated online applications for all training events as well as online forms for instructors to order student handbooks and Families workbooks; and separate “tracks” for law enforcement, educators, parents/guardians, students, and the public to more easily find the information most relevant to them. An enhanced G.R.E.A.T. News page will allow instructors and others to submit stories about the G.R.E.A.T. Program electronically. The new site is mobile-friendly; i.e., optimized for viewing on smartphones and tablets.

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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