In partnership with the Williams Unified School District, the Williams Police Department coordinated its annual anti-gang program. With 95 sixth grade students graduating from the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program at Williams Upper Elementary School.
Officer Daniel Mata of the Williams Police Department worked with the students during the 13 lesson program while developing positive relationships with students, especially at-risk youth susceptible to gang initiation.
The G.R.E.A.T. program is designed to encourage students to make good, healthy choices, to avoid gangs and violence and how to deal with bullying.
“In the two years that I have been teaching GREAT, I have seen the children respond well to what the program teaches,” said Officer Daniel Mata, “Students are making better decisions and are saying no to gangs and youth violence.”
The students completed the program and received certificates during a special G.R.E.A.T. Graduation Ceremony on Tuesday, December 16, 2014. In attendance were Williams City Council Members, John Troughton Jr., Alfred Sellers, and Pat Ash, and Williams Police Officer Ivan Maldonado.
“I would like to thank Officer Mata for all that he does for our community,” said Williams Police Chief Jim Saso, “He is not only our dedicated to our schools, he works patrol, then teaches the program, and returns to patrol.”
“This program is crucial to our community and our department,” Saso added.