Mayor Edward Rendell


1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.

In 1994 the Philadelphia Police Department began its association with the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) Program. GREAT offers a nine week program for 7th grade students and a four week program for 3rd and 4th grade students, and each student receives a Certificate of Completion upon finishing the required classwork and written exercises. GREAT is an interactive learning process, that involves many optional extended activities that teachers can use to help reinforce the core curriculum. There are three phases of the GREAT Program:

Phase I - School Based Education

Phase 2 - Summer Education/Recreation

Phase 3 - Parental Involvement

During, the months of June, July and August, a seven week summer program is offered to students, and involves a combination of educational and recreational activities.

2. When was the program created and why?

GREAT was created by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) in 1991 when their representatives approached police agencies in the Phoenix, Arizona area with an idea to design a gang resistance program. The Program's aim is to educate young people about the dangers faced when they become involved with street gangs and violent crime. Police Officers are trained in gang prevention and anti-violence techniques as well as methods to successfully impart the information to youth. Since the GREAT Program was adopted by the Philadelphia Police Department, over 6000 students in 25 schools have participated in the program each year.

3. How do you measure the program's effectiveness?

The effectiveness of the program is measured by monitoring the reduction of juvenile crime statistics over time. In Philadelphia, the juvenile crime rate has fallen by approximately 1% per year since the inception of the GREAT Program in 1994

4. How is the program financed?

The GREAT Program is funded by the Treasury Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Washington, D.C. 20226, Phone # 800-726-7070. GREAT Program Branch, 800 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, D.C. 20001, Phone # 202-565-4560.

5. How is the community involved in the program, if at all. How has the community responded to the program?

Community members have direct involvement as a result of the collaborative nature of the GREAT program. Feedback is sought from participating students, local police, parents of participating students and other persons involved in the program. The GREAT Program staff

encourages feedback so that the curriculum retains its relevancy to participants while at the same time addressing the issues for which the program was conceived.

6. Contact person:

Lt. Martin Taylor of the Philadelphia Police Department 's Community Relations Unit is the contact person for the GREAT Program. Phone # 215-686-3380, Fax # 215-686-3399.

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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