Dougherty County Sheriff gets grant for gang fighting program
September 21, 2006
Albany -- The Dougherty County Sheriff's Office gets money to fight gangs. The Justice Department will award nearly $43,000 to fund the Gang Resistance Education and Training summer program.
The G.R.E.A.T. program, as it is called, has been held in Dougherty County since 1992, and now will continue this summer thanks to the federal grant. About 150 5th and 6th graders will spend their summer days playing games and learning life lessons.
Sheriff Jamil Saba says the kids have fun, their parents know they are safe, and they are taught about the danger of gangs. Saba said "Trying to give them responsibility. Listen to your parents, listen to your teacher. Don't be going out here and listen to someone on the streets who is a member of the gang. And I think a lot of them listen. "
The G.R.E.A.T. program also reaches about two thousand students in Dougherty County's elementary and middle schools during the school year.
Saba says Captain Ralph Sproul helped secure the Justice Department grant by teaching gang awareness courses to national law enforcement groups.