School Based Programs

The School Visitation Section of the Chicago Police Department coordinates school based programs such as the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.), Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.), and the Officer Friendly Program. To schedule on of these programs at your school, contact us at (312) 745-5841.

Officer Friendly Program

We know the children of Chicago are our future, and the Officer Friendly program tries to make their future safer. Topics discussed include stranger awareness, street safety, how to use 911, and child protective behaviors. The structured programs are presented to children enrolled in kindergarten through third grade. Visits are made to all City of Chicago schools, and any other groups or organizations upon request. The program is also designed to introduce children to uniformed police officers, and the development of a friendship with police officers.

Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program

The D.A.R.E. program is designed to give participants positive alternatives, and ways to avoid using drugs and becoming involved in violent activity. In Chicago, the program is taught in the 5th and 6th grades, by uniformed police officers for 17 weeks. Our goal is to reduce the use of illegal drugs by our young people, and have them pass the positive information on to friends and family members. D.A.R.E. is a worldwide program.

Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program

The G.R.E.A.T. program began in 1992 through a partnership between the Phoenix Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). We use the G.R.E.A.T. program to make our young people aware of the consequences if they choose to become involved with gangs or criminal activity. It also provides them with positive alternatives, and ways to avoid involvement. Our goal is to decrease gang and youth violence.

In Chicago, the program is taught in the 3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th grade classrooms, by a uniformed police officer and federal agents. Together, the G.R.E.A.T. instructor and the classroom teacher work together to realize a common goal, saving our children. We also conduct a summer component where we mix the curriculum with life skills, self esteem building, sports and other social activities to reinforce the 9-week program. The 3rd and 4th grade program is 5 weeks, and the 7th and 8th grade program (middle school) is 13 weeks. The middle school curriculum has been enhanced to address the concerns our young people confronted with prior to, and when they enter high school.