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Home/Press Release/OCPO GETS HELP FROM SOUTH TOMS RIVER PD TO MAKE SOUTH TOMS RIVER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS G.R.E.A.T.E.R

OCPO GETS HELP FROM SOUTH TOMS RIVER PD TO MAKE SOUTH TOMS RIVER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS G.R.E.A.T.E.R

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato and South Toms River Police Chief Andrew Izatt today announced that on Tuesday (12/20) the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and South Toms River Police Department held a G.R.E.A.T. graduation for all four 5th grade classes from the South Toms River Elementary School.  This group of students is one of six schools from across Ocean County that has successfully completed the G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training) Program within the Office of the Ocean County Prosecutor for the 2016/2017 school year.

The Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program is an evidence-based, national and international gang and violence prevention program that has been building trust between law enforcement and communities for almost 30 years.  G.R.E.A.T. is intended as an immunization against delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership.  It is designed for children in the years immediately before the prime ages for introduction into gangs and delinquent behavior.  The program is built around school-based, law enforcement officer-instructed classroom curricula.

This past July, STRPD Chief Izatt assigned Det. Mike Schneidt and Ptl. Anthony Giacinti to attend G.R.E.A.T. instructor training offered by members of the Ocean County Prosecutors Office in order to pro-actively provide positive outreach to the youth of South Toms River.  His officers were part of a class of forty one (41) Law Enforcement Officers that came from Ocean County and 19 other different states across America in order to attend the week long instructor program that took place at the Ocean County Training Center in Waretown.

You may recall that back in October OCPO announced STRPD would be among the newest departments to collaborate with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office in order to bring the G.R.E.A.T. Program to the South Toms River Elementary School.  At that time the two new instructors began teaching the six week course to all STRE fifth grade students.  Yesterday, both officers and STRE school officials declared the program a “GREAT” success.  Imparting life skills to over sixty (60) students which include: decision making, communication skills, anger management, anti-bullying and respect.

Beyond yesterday’s STRE School graduation, this year the program has already graduated the fifth grade classes of the Toms River Hooper Avenue Elementary School, Toms River Silver Bay Elementary School and East Dover Elementary School, as well as, 6th graders from Toms River Intermediate East and Lakewood Middle School.  To date the program has imparted life skills/lessons this school year to over 1200 students from Ocean County.

OCPO brought the program to Ocean County Schools in 2011 and have been continuously working cooperatively with other Ocean County law enforcement agencies to expand the program locally in an effort to reach as many children as possible.  Those wishing more Information about the G.R.E.A.T. program can go to: www.great-online.org.

Picture left to right: South Toms River PD Ptl. Anthony Giacinti and Ptl. Michael Schneidt on day one of the program back in October beginning their six week character building / police outreach journey with Mrs. Diane Della Fave’s STRE fifth grade class.

great-stre-gradAfter six long weeks – yesterday’s graduation.  Proud students display their program certificates.  Pictured left to right: STRPD Ptl. Anthony Giacinti, Mrs. Diane Della Fave’s Fifth Grade Class, STRPD Det. Mike Schneidt

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