In the first 18 months of its existence, GRIT:
- Established its mission and goals, and elected a chair and vice chairperson
- Conducted six community educational forums as well as four training sessions to school staff during their in-service training program
- Coordinated and facilitated educational seminars to various PTAs in Loudoun County as well as community coalitions
- Facilitated the implementation of the “GREAT Program” in every middle school in Loudoun County beginning in the Fall of 2004
- Helped create a series of maps of areas of the county projected to be most susceptible to gang activity that will be used for service coordination and grant applications
- Received two grants which allowed for the design and printing of a GRIT brochure as well as the purchase of twelve digital cameras, used to document graffiti and to expedite its removal, that were loaned to the Leesburg Police Department, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, as well as other governmental agencies
- Reduced duplication of services and resources by providing the venue for agencies to share information and increase collaboration. For example, these examples are direct results of the GRIT process:
- Adult Probation has established a relationship with the Sheriff’s Office to conduct home contacts together
- Juvenile Probation and Leesburg Police are in the process of establishing a curfew enforcement program for juvenile offenders who are known gang members
In fiscal year 2005, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors funded a full-time position to coordinate the GRIT process that is consistent with the OJJDP Model. The GRIT Coordinator began work with GRIT on August 26, 2004. An important function of the coordinator is to assist GRIT in the coordination of the intervention and prevention programs within Loudoun County, as well as identifying new funding possibilities.
GRIT has taken great strides in the implementation of the OJJDP Model with invaluable results. GRIT has provided the arena for all stakeholders to collaborate to solve the gang problem by combining resources and breaking down barriers.