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Schumer Announces Over $21,000 Coming To The City Of Buffalo For Youth Violence And Gang Prevention

Federal Funds Will Be Used to Implement Anti-Gang Educational Programs

Schumer: This Federal Funding Will Allow for the Implementation of Important Programs that Educate Youths About the Dangers of Gangs and Steer Them Down the Right Path

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that $21,600 has been awarded to the City of Buffalo in Erie County to provide students with the skills they need to avoid gang pressure and youth violence. The funds are being awarded through the U.S. Department of Justices (DOJ) Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program.

"This is great news for the Buffalo community, said Schumer. Programs that provide young children with the knowledge and tools needed to avoid the pressures of gang involvement help them to make the right decisions at such a critical juncture in their lives. This federal funding will allow for the implementation of important programs that educate youths about the dangers of gangs and steer them down the right path.

The City of Buffalo will use the federal funding to dedicate two school resource officers from the Buffalo Police Department to teach the G.R.E.A.T. antigang curriculum. The resource officers will teach the classes to approximately 300 sixth grade students in the following inner city schools: Harvey Austin School, PFC William J. Grabiarz School of Excellence, Dr. Antonia Pantoja Community School of Academic Excellence, and West Hertel Academy. During the summer months, the resource officers will present an antigang and antiviolence summer program in two designated safe havens located in Buffalos Weed and Seed Program areas on the East and West sides of Buffalo.

The G.R.E.A.T. program is a lifeskills competency program designed to provide students with the skills they need to avoid gang pressure and youth violence. G.R.E.A.T.s violence prevention curriculum helps students develop values and practice behaviors that will assist them to avoid destructive activities. The G.R.E.A.T program coordinates with federal, regional, state and local agencies, as well as individuals from community and civic groups. The goal of the G.R.E.A.T program is to train law enforcement officers in a schoolbased curriculum in which the officers provide instruction to schoolaged children in life skill competencies, gang awareness, and antiviolence techniques. Training in the core G.R.E.A.T. program is provided to officers from any state or local law enforcement agency.

Last month, the City of Buffalo received a Weed and Seed grant from the Department of Justice to focus law enforcement efforts toward reducing violent crime and drug dealing The Weed and Seed program works to prevent, reduce and control violent crime, drug abuse and gang activity in specifically targeted highcrime areas across the country.