The Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program was developed in 1991 by a combined effort of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Phoenix Police Department. G.R.E.A.T. is a gang and violence prevention program built around school-based law enforcement officer-instructed classroom curricula. The program is intended as an immunization against delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership for children in the years immediately before the prime ages for introduction into gangs and delinquent behavior.
Park Police has been offering the G.R.E.A.T. program to the Prince George's County School system since 2009. G.R.E.A.T. program curriculum instructors are local police officers who must undergo 60 hours of specialized training that focuses on the structure and content of the curriculum and information about current gang trends.
The G.R.E.A.T. Program consists of 4 interrelated components; elementary, middle school, summer, and family, designed to target different audiences. Each component has lessons that fit the target group's needs and skills and satisfy age-appropriate goals. Each component of the curriculum can stand alone and offers instruction about skills and attitudes needed to help youth resist the pressures to become involved in gang behavior and ways to avoid situations that could lead to violence. The ultimate goal is to create positive behavior changes. The middle school component, the core of the curriculum and the foundation of the G.R.E.A.T. Program, be taught in each jurisdiction where the G.R.E.A.T. Program is implemented.
The G.R.E.A.T. Program focuses on providing life skills to students to help them avoid using delinquent behavior and violence to solve problems. The G.R.E.A.T. Program offers a continuum of components for students and their families and has developed partnerships with nationally-recognized organizations including the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the National Association of Police Athletic Leagues. These partnerships have resulted in the development of positive relationships between the community, parents, schools, and law enforcement officers.