Current G.R.E.A.T. News

G.R.E.A.T. Program Updates for Central America

No updates or new information related to the G.R.E.A.T. Program in Central America can be added to the G.R.E.A.T. website at this time. Current funding for the Central America G.R.E.A.T. Program has expired. Operations will resume if future funding is awarded.

G.R.E.A.T. Success: Honduras G.R.E.A.T. Program

Two major aims of the G.R.E.A.T. Program are (1) providing youth with the skills they need to avoid gangs and violence and (2) improving relationships between youth and the law enforcement officers in their communities. The G.R.E.A.T. Program in Honduras has been working very hard over the past seven years to achieve those aims and has been very successful in their efforts. To date, more than 160,000 Honduran children have participated in the G.R.E.A.T. Program and more than 116 instructors have been trained to teach this Program nationwide. Click here to read more about the success of the G.R.E.A.T. Program in Honduras.

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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.

El Salvador Police achieved G.R.E.A.T. Success

The National Civil Police of El Salvador achieved many successes with the G.R.E.A.T. Program in 2017. Throughout the year, G.R.E.A.T. instructors taught the Program in 274 middle and elementary schools, with a grand total of 31,682 students graduating from the Program. In addition, G.R.E.A.T. Summer Programs were hosted throughout El Salvador, working with a total of 114 youth across 10 departments throughout the country. Click here to view a short video that captures some of El Salvador's 2017 G.R.E.A.T. accomplishments!

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.

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