GREAT Police Program

On Monday, 36 police officers received training from the Gang Resistance Education and Training Program, GREAT for short.

The program was first introduced in Belize in 2010. Since then, over 5,000 primary school youths have graduated from the program.

The GREAT program, which is geared at teaching valuable life-skills to at risk youths, was focused on Monday on training front line police officers to work with these youths.

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vlcsnap-2015-01-14-07h59m06s100vlcsnap-2015-01-14-08h01m18s165Ron Doyle – Coordinator

“GREAT is the Gang Resistance Education And Training program. It’s design to help children learn the skills and attitudes that they need in order to successfully stay away from crime, delinquency, violence, and gang involvement.

What we’re doing here is training police officers to go into schools and work with children in their natural environment, to learn what they need to do in order to avoid those problems. It changes the officers, it changes the children and we’ve seen over and over again that schools that are operating this program, the children are better behaved, they are more respectful and as a result, they are better able to learn, because they are able to focus on what they are supposed to be focusing on.”

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The program, though primarily focused on making better youths, also helps to make better police officers.

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vlcsnap-2015-01-14-07h59m22s0vlcsnap-2015-01-14-08h01m33s54Douglas Hyde – Public Relations Coordinator

“These are the officers who are the frontline officers, who work with schools, with communities, with people on a day to day basis, and so having them to participate in this GREAT program means a lot for us within the department. But also, essentially for them, also to be part of a training that is very important within the police department.”

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vlcsnap-2015-01-14-08h01m53s228Gonzalo Correa – PC attatched to CIB

“This program will be helpful for the youths, how to go about and dealing with this disease that is affecting our city, which is gangs, and this program will be very helpful.”

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Schools who participated in the GREAT program report seeing a difference in student behavior.
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