GREAT Program Helping Keep Children Away From Gangs

By: Angelica Alvarez
By: Angelica Alvarez

Some of these children are as young as five and already they see gang activity in their communities and in their schools.

A program called GREAT, standing for Gang Resistance, Education And Training, is teaching children how and why to stay away from gangs.

Jaylin Forbes is a GREAT student and she says, "You shouldn't get involved with gangs, ‘cause they might get involved with drugs and alcohol, and some drugs can kill you."

Quinitra Harris, is another GREAT student and she says, "We learned its bad to be in them and a lot of people get killed by being in them."

In elementary school, children are given DARE classes, and before they go to high school Thomasville police officers want to give what they call a booster shot program to remind them what they already learned.

Officer Sherry Gilbert with the Thomasville Police Department is a also a GREAT teacher, and she says, "They go through the great program before they get to high school, because that's where we see kids trying to fit in and get into gangs."

To help with the battle the Thomasville Police Department received a federal grant to help their fight on the streets.

Sergeant Rachelle Denmark with the Thomasville Police Department says, "This is funded by a federal grant that we received to do the program, a federal grant from the ATF. They're very supportive of the great program, and we've received federal funds to go to California for some training."

Five GREAT officers will leave for California July 24 for two weeks of gang resistance training to bring back new ways of keeping children away from gangs.


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