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Two Surrey Schools employees have been recognized by the Surrey RCMP for their work preventing youth from becoming involved with gangs.
Safe Schools Liaison Jordan Buna and Rob Rai, Director of School and Community Connections, were each presented with a Certificate of Appreciation at the 2017 Officer in Charge Awards, which recognizes contributions of Surrey RCMP employees, police officers, community partners and residents for their service and dedication to public safety.
In 2016, the Surrey Gang Enforcement Team (SGET) expanded its mandate to include a gang education and awareness component targeting at-risk youth and vulnerable members of the community and their families. Partnering with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit and the Surrey Schools WRAP program, the SGET developed its Gang Education, Outreach and Prevention strategy.
The partners have since delivered the End Gang Life presentation to hundreds of Surrey students, as well as parents, teachers, community partners and refugee communities, with the goal of intervening in at-risk youth's lives before they become entrenched in the gang lifestyle.
"While the overall impact of this will not be felt for years to come, together they have developed a well-respected and requested program that is helping to educate and prevent recruitment for future generations," reads the honour presented to Rai and Buna, noting the pair's dedication and contribution were essential to the program's success.
Members of the Surrey School District's Safe Schools team were also honoured at last year's OIC Awards. Safe Schools worker Jonathan Ross, administrative assistant Sharon Jackson, Youth Diversity Liaison Sarah McKay and Rai were recognized with a Certificate of Achievement for their involvement with the Surrey Mobilization and Resilience Table, an initiative bringing various community agencies together to mitigate risk in the lives of individuals before crisis can occur.