GREAT program educates local middle school students on gang resistance
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Some New Hanover County middle school students are getting a lesson from the New Hanover County Sheriff's Department. Deputies will lead an anti-gang program at Roland Grise and Williston Middle Schools. The Gang Resistance Education and Training program, or GREAT, is intended to educate children about the dangers of gangs and help them get acquainted with deputies. “It helps build a positive relationship with law enforcement and the children because this way they can see us one-on-one and feel free to ask questions and interact with us on a positive level,” said Amy Womble of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. Students will take part in thirteen, 45 minute sessions with topics including gang awareness, anger management, and resisting peer pressure. The sheriff's office hopes to expand the program to all New Hanover County public middle schools by next year.

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What a great programme, it sounds like a great way of building a relationship between the police and the young people. It would be interesting to track he progress of the participants to be able to assess the impact following the anger management and other sessions. Martin
from what I see in the media, they started with the right schools. This sure beats requiring your child to sit and watch Obama talk, via televison in the classroom, about what children should do. One wonders what his intent will be on September 8.
Because we're all afraid that the little 12 year old girl in the picture will soon be putting on a red bandana a shooting out our living room windows from a moving Cadillac. What a waste of time and money. I'm scared of bureaucracies more than gangs.
In Wilmington, we have a good number of suburban white kids in teen wanna-be gangs. These are kids who form their own gangs (not affiliated with any of the big national gangs)and yes, they use/sell drugs, commit burglaries, and they have killed innocent people. About 10 years ago, a suburban white gang member named Kyle Berry killed a woman, a 30-something year-old tourist at Johnnie Mercer's pier at Wrightsville Beach. He did this as a kind of initiation. When Kyle's girlfriend was going to tell police, he killed her too. Her body was found behind the old SPEC daycare at the corner of College & 17th. Look Kyle up on the DOC website, he went from a bunch of petty offenses to murder. I worked at probation back then and had several gang kids on my caseload. They were all white, lived in Monterrey Heights, and were between 16 and 21. Some of them were girls. They looked a lot like that little girl you're talking about in this story. These little kids grow up, and some will find themselves hanging around with the wrong people. Maybe this program can open the kids' eyes while they're young and keep some of them out of a gang.
It's called PREVENTION and if you live in Wilmington you SHOULD be worried about gangs. This area might not have the problem that Durham does but left without prevention or intervention strategies wait and see what happesn.