DETROIT, June 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Special Agent in Charge David L. McCain of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced that today's baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians marks an 18-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 and the Tigers continue to demonstrate the team's commitment to the education and training of the children of Michigan," said McCain. "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."
Approximately 1,100 students from Detroit, Brownstown Township, Gibraltar, Rockwood, and Woodhaven are scheduled to attend today's game, dressed in their G.R.E.A.T. T-shirts that indicate their effort to avoid gangs and youth violence. G.R.E.A.T. officers will chaperone the students along with school administrators, teachers and parent volunteers.
Others expected to join McCain at today's game in support of G.R.E.A.T. are Brownstown's Director of Public Safety James S. Sclater, Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee and ATF G.R.E.A.T. Program Coordinator 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 middle school level.
The goals of G.R.E.A.T. include the following:
- Reduce the incidence 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 6.5 million children have trained in the G.R.E.A.T. program. To date, approximately 11,650 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. ATF has supported the G.R.E.A.T. program since 1992. 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.
Contact: Special Agent Donald Dawkins
Public Information Officer, ATF
(313) 407-6018 Cell
SOURCE Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives