Detroit Tigers to welcome 1,800 G.R.E.A.T. Students

Special
Agent in Charge Valerie J. Goddard of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms
and
Explosives
(ATF) announced that this afternoon’s baseball game between the Detroit Tigers
and the LA Angels of Anaheim will mark a 13-year partnership between ATF and
the Tigers in combating violence and gangs.

“The
Tigers dedicate a game each year to the Gang Resistance Education And Training
(G.R.E.A.T.) Program on behalf of all

Michigan
kids who are students or recent graduates of the outreach program. Attending
today’s game is one of the many rewards the kids will experience for their commitment
and pledge to live a life free of the negative influences of street
gangs,” said Goddard. “ATF and the Detroit Tigers also salute our law
enforcement partners, the

Detroit
and Brownstown Police Departments, for their longstanding commitment in
educating and supporting our youth and for their unwavering support to stop
gang violence,” she added.

Goddard
and others attending today’s game in support of the G.R.E.A.T. Program include
ATF Assistant Director William J. Hoover, Office of Field Operations; U.S.
Attorney Stephen J. Murphy (Eastern Judicial District of Michigan); Brownstown
Interim Police Chief Jim Sclater; Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings; and
G.R.E.A.T. Regional Administrator Raj Ramnarace.

More than 1,800 kids from the communities
of
Brownstown
Township,

Detroit and
Gibraltar
are guests of the Tigers. They are wearing their G.R.E.A.T. “colors”
in honor of their effort to avoid gangs and youth violence. Chaperoning the
kids today are G.R.E.A.T. officers, school administrators, teachers and parent
volunteers.

With the
support and guidance of specially trained law enforcement officers, the
students develop beliefs and practice behaviors that will help them avoid
destructive behaviors. They learn to set goals, resist pressures, respect
differences, resolve conflicts, and understand how gangs impact the quality of
their life. They 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:

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.

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,
Ariz., 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 the Boys and
Girls Clubs of America and the Police Athletic League.

Since the
program’s inception, more than 75,076

Michigan
children have received instruction from city, county, state and federal law
enforcement officers throughout the state. Nationwide, more than 4.5 million
children have been through the program. To date, approximately 8,000 officers
from 2,100 agencies representing 50 states, the
District
of Columbia,
Canada,
Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands,
Bermuda
and military personnel from overseas bases have been trained to present the
G.R.E.A.T. curriculum in elementary and middle school classrooms.