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Fact Sheet - Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program

June, 2020
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Fast Facts

  1. G.R.E.A.T. youth and community outreach program was launched in 1991 to proactively combat violent crime.

  2. G.R.E.A.T. uses community-oriented policing tactics and community outreach to change perceptions about law enforcement, one student at a time.

  3. G.R.E.A.T. instructors provide interactive educational programs to inner city students.

ATF’s G.R.E.A.T. program uses educational tools to help young people avoid gang-related activities, resist negative peer pressure and develop positive relationships with law enforcement. In addition, students learn various trade skills that will benefit them once they complete their high school education.

A year after its launch, ATF and the Phoenix Police Department entered into a partnership to serve as the model for G.R.E.A.T. interagency collaborations. Decades later, the program has expanded across the United States and Central America with widespread support from local educators and law enforcement agencies.

The Numbers

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15,210

law enforcement officers and professionals have served as instructors over the past 29 years.

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15,210

G.R.E.A.T. instructors are volunteers representing 2,870 law enforcement agencies, including ATF.

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2,351

elementary and middle school students were taught by 20 ATF G.R.E.A.T. instructors in 2019.

The Program

school guard in hallway as students stand by a classroomG.R.E.A.T. instructors use cooperative and interactive games to teach elementary and middle school children about decision-making, communication, anger management and respecting others. The elementary school curriculum is a six-week interactive session for fourth and fifth graders with an emphasis on family involvement. The middle school session lasts for 13 weeks and includes lessons on the relationship between crime, violence, drug abuse, and gangs. In addition, the older students are prepared for the rigors of attending high school and beyond.

These G.R.E.A.T. programs are offered year round and include a summer program that helps students hone their emotional intelligence and practice age-appropriate social skills. Some summer camps focus on learning new skills, like building and maintaining bicycles at the students get to keep after the camp ends. In 2019, ATF instructors hosted four G.R.E.A.T. summer camps in three cities in Baltimore (2), Nashville and New York City.

    Combating Violent Crime

    Gang involvement often starts at a young age if there is no intervention, and the statistics are staggering. Homicide is the third leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10-24, and approximately 1,300 young people are treated for nonfatal assault-related injuries each day. Prior to the G.R.E.A.T. program, there was no federal anti-gang program focusing on youth. By teaching the G.R.E.A.T. curriculum in schools, law enforcement officers—including ATF agents— are proactively reducing violent crime in communities by working directly with their most vulnerable populations: students and their families.

    Additional Resources

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    •  www.facebook.com/hqatf
    •  www.twitter.com/atfhq
    •  www.instagram.com/atfhq