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Police teaming up with schools to curb gang problem

Posted at 10:47 PM, Oct 14, 2015

MUSKEGON, Mich. -- There's a new effort to combat gang violence by bringing police officers and local schools together. On Wednesday night, Muskegon students took part in a program call GREAT: Gang Resistant Education and Training. It's mission is to help a lot of kids stay on track.

Officers are are hoping to reach 300 different schools.

"Gang" is a word fifth grader Ta'Myia Stewart hears often, and she gave us her definition: "You kids just going around killing people and dressing with colors and shooting at cars and stuff like that."

"I feel we have to try something," said Officer Chad Williams. "It's better than just sitting by and saying, Oh, hey there look, there's another problem. This may not be the solution to end everything, but if it saves one kid from making a bad choice, it's a win-win for everybody."

Wilson said he's had enough of the violence in Muskegon County, especially after the violence there in the summer of 2010.

"2010 was a very violent summer for the city of Muskegon, and there was a young man that was shot in the head, and he survived." Wilson believes it was the story of a miracle that gave one young man a second chance to turn his life around.

"[A] short time later the man that was shot ended up in prison for drugs," Wilson continued, "so I really sat back and I thought this guy had a second chance, and he threw it away."

Wilson hopes having the GREAT program schools that kids will learn from a young age to trust the police and break the cycle of violence.

Officials said the effort has received grant money from the Muskegon Community Foundation.