That's "great" as in a good time, a big turnout and lots of fun and "G-R-E-A-T" as in Gang Resistance Education And Training, a national program that began with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. Precinct 6 Constable Victor Trevino says officers go into elementary and middle school classrooms during the school year and talk to students about gangs. Officers like Deputy Theresa Garcia receive training and certification from the national program.
Hundreds of kids turned out for the day at Mason Park, mostly for a day of fun before the more serious work of getting an education. In addition to having fun and being in denial about the return to school the GREAT message is getting through to some, like Vanessa, but not to others. Elizabeth Sanchez has heard the GREAT officers and her way of avoiding gangs is quite simple.
But Constable Trevino says for those young people who still don't get it, the work must go on.