Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Detroit Field Division
For Immediate Release
May 7, 2014
Contact: Special Agent Donald Dawkins
Public Information Officer, ATF
ATF, Detroit Tigers Celebrate the 20th-Year of a “G.R.E.A.T.” Partnership
DETROIT – Special Agent in Charge Steven Bogdalek of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced that tomorrow’s baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and the Houston Astros highlights the 20-year partnership between ATF and the Detroit Tigers Organization with the Gang Resistance Education and Training “G.R.E.A.T.” anti-gang program.
The Detroit Tigers Organization has dedicated a game each year to the G.R.E.A.T. program. “For 20 years the Detroit Tiger Organization has displayed their commitment to the training and education to the children of Michigan, their dedication has been unwavering and very much appreciated,” said Bogdalek. “ATF and the Detroit Tigers would like to thank our law enforcement partners, the Detroit and Brownstown Police Departments, for their longstanding commitment and support to G.R.E.A.T. and to educating our youth in Michigan. We would also like to thank the students for their dedication and hard work throughout the year.”
This year approximately 850 students from Detroit and Brownstown Township are scheduled to attend today’s game dressed in their G.R.E.A.T. T-shirts which shows their commitment to avoid gangs and youth violence. G.R.E.A.T. officers along with school administrators, teachers and parent volunteers will chaperone the students.
Others expected to join Bogdalek at tomorrow’s game in support of G.R.E.A.T. are United States Attorney Barbara McQuade, Brownstown’s Director of Public Safety James S. Sclater, Detroit Police Chief James Craig and ATF G.R.E.A.T. Program Outreach Manager Warren Harding.
With the support and guidance of specially trained law enforcement officers, G.R.E.A.T. students develop beliefs and practice behaviors that will help them avoid destructive conduct. They learn to set goals, resist peer pressure, respect differences, resolve conflicts, and understand how gangs can negatively impact their quality of life. The students also learn the importance of becoming responsible members of their communities. The 13-week G.R.E.A.T. curriculum is available to students at the elementary and middle school level.
The goals of G.R.E.A.T. include the following:
- Reduce the incidents of violent youth crime;
- Resolve conflicts without resorting to violence;
- Provide youth with skills to make sound choices;
- Provide activities for G.R.E.A.T. graduates during summer months;
- Involve teachers, parents, and communities; and
- Teach youth to recognize indicators of gang involvement in their communities.
ATF developed and implemented the G.R.E.A.T. program with the Phoenix Police Department in 1991 to deter youth violence and crime by reducing involvement in gangs. ATF currently has numerous partnerships with local and state agencies, as well as with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the Police Athletic League.
Nationwide, more than 7 million children have trained in the G.R.E.A.T. program. To date, approximately 12,000 officers from 2,400 agencies representing 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Canada, Bermuda, the United Kingdom, and military personnel at overseas bases have been trained to present the G.R.E.A.T. curriculum in elementary and middle school classrooms.
ATF recognizes that enforcement efforts need to be combined with prevention to successfully combat the problems of gangs in our communities. For additional information on the program, visit G.R.E.A.T. at http://www.great-online.org
More information on ATF can be found at www.atf.gov.
Note to editors: Media interested in footage/photos/interviews with the kids in the stands or an interview with any of the agency representatives regarding the Tigers G.R.E.A.T. game and the G.R.E.A.T. program should contact ATF PIO Donald Dawkins, (313) 407-6018 (cellular phone).