48° Good Morning
48° Good Morning

Suffolk sheriffs present anti-gang program GREAT at school

Kidsday reporter Ella Parkinson with deputy sheriffs Brian

Kidsday reporter Ella Parkinson with deputy sheriffs Brian Butler and Jonathan Bing, who work with the anti-gang GREAT program. Credit: Mike MacKenzie

I got to talk to a deputy sheriff who works with the anti-gang program GREAT and ask him some questions. GREAT stands for Gang Resistance Education and Training.

GREAT started in 1991 in Phoenix, Arizona, because of multi-gang problems. In Suffolk County it started in 2006.

Deputy sheriffs Brian Butler and Jonathan Bing said many kids my age are getting in trouble because they’re becoming involved with drugs or connecting with gangs. Sheriff Butler also said that a lot of people don’t understand the consequences of what they’ve done.

The kids in our school enjoyed meeting Sheriff Butler and learning ways to keep ourselves safe. It is a national movement, and there is a Choose to Be GREAT week: Oct. 15-19. Find out more online:

Allison Krieb and Mike MacKenzie’s sixth-grade class, Longwood Middle School, Middle Island

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