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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

July 30, 2010

Contact: Special Agent Clare Weber
Office: (443) 965-2007
Cell: (240) 882-5261

ATF and Local Law Enforcement Join Hands With the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Teaching Kids to Resist Gangs

The “Choose to Be Great” Summer Camp Encourages Children to Choose a Positive Path in Life.

BALTIMORE — The Choose to be G.R.E.A.T (Gang Resistance Education and Training) camp was held in cooperation with the New Psalmist Baptist Church the week of July 26, 2010. This unique camp experience was designed for children ages 9-12, and was one of the first faith-based partnerships between a local church and area law enforcement. This is the second year of the camp, and a successful example of law enforcement befriending our youth. The children learned several lessons within the G.R.E.A.T program, and the church applied each G.R.E.A.T lesson to a related religious story or verse. The camp provided the children with several demonstrations from ATF Explosives K-9s, and FBI SWAT teams. The camp included field trips to area detention centers, universities, and discussions with several local police departments.

The students were taught lessons that included decision making, communication skills, anger management skills, and calming others. These lessons were taught by ATF Agents and officers from the Baltimore City Schools Police and Baltimore County Police Departments.

This was an excellent opportunity for ATF and other law enforcement officers to join hands with the New Psalmist Church where together we encourage children to take a positive path in life, says ATF’s Acting Special Agent in Charge Joseph Riehl. The support of the GREAT program this week by the parents, guardians, relatives and friends shows how this community embraces this program, and how the positive path a child can take begins at home.