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Jun 20, 2014

GREAT Initiative moves to Ladyville – students complete the anti-crime program

There were smiling faces today at the Ladyville Adventist School. It was a special day for students who had successfully completed the Gang Resistance Education and Training Program of the Police Department. The program is being implemented at a number of schools to motivate youths who are at risk to stay the course and keep away from criminal activities. Duane Moody has a report on today’s activities. 

 

Representative, Ladyville Adventist School

“In order for us to have a better community, we need to have in our midst and we need to implement in our schools, in our homes and in our community, self control, which is very important. We need to say no to drugs. We are being bombarded by drugs in our homes, in our schools in our community. We need to say no to violence, we need to say no to hatred, we need to say no to gangs.”

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Today, a graduation ceremony of the Gang Resistance Education and Training Program was held for yet another group of youths. The students, of the Ladyville Adventist School in Rural Belize District were honored for their participation in the program, which is part of the Central American Regional Security Initiative. Since 2010, over four thousand students have graduated from the GREAT program.

 

Elroy Carcamo

Sgt. Elroy Carcamo, N.C.O., Belize District Community Policing

“In 2009, we had some officers who went to San Salvador to participate in the Gang Resistance Education and Training Program. And from since then, it took us about a year for us to really get into the community with the Ministry of Education to facilitate this program within the different schools. It started in Belize City with three schools as pilot project and over the years it had spread from eight officers who certified to facilitate the GREAT program, now we have over fifty-six officers countrywide. And over four thousand youths have graduated from the program and that excludes those that will be graduating today and a few more graduations that we have for this year, 2014.”

 

It is the first time that the GREAT program is being facilitated in rural Belize District. Police Officers go into the classrooms to teach youths to develop life skills and making right decisions. This is the mission of the program; to lessen crime.

 

ASP Christopher Noble, Rural Executive Officer

Christopher Noble

“It is spearheaded by a constable, WPC Carla Smith and she, after doing training, has selected this school on the first. And it is the first and I hope that it is the first of many because we are encouraging others to come on board with us. We want to go into more school; we want to look at more kids because we don’t want anybody else on the streets.”

 

Reporter

“Sir as an advocate for the intervention into young person’s lives before they get on to this gang street life, how important you think it is for police to present themselves to the young ones at that early age to develop that relationship?”

 

ASP Christopher Noble

“Definitely it is very positive; it is something that we want to look at to get kids away from this aura that police are the bad people or I wah call the police if something happens. So definitely it is good for interaction; our efforts are very much community policing oriented. So we are driving at this. We are not going to give up; we are not going to quit and this is just the beginning. Again I ask the other schools to invite us to come in; we will come, we will make ourselves available to you and we will come in the school and give any assistance.”

 

Sgt. Elroy Carcamo

“The kids learn different techniques, like how to set goals for example. They learn about decision making; the decision they make today will affect them in the future. How to have empathy for one another; not only for their brother and sister, but also for the other kids in classes with them.  We also teach them communications; how to see different ways of communicating and how to react in different ways—not only verbal, but the non-verbal—and how they can decide on what a person is thinking or feeling by the nonverbal communication.”

 

It was the elementary curriculum that was facilitated in Ladyville. The GREAT program has four components including elementary, middle school, the summer course and the family component. Across the country, except for the family aspect of the program, all curriculums have been implemented. Duane Moody for News Five.

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