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Police Activity League
The Police Activities League is a youth crime prevention program that relies on educational, athletic and other recreational activities to cement a bond between police officers and the youth in our community. It is based on the conviction that young people - if they are reached early enough -- can develop strong, positive attitudes towards police officers and the law. Studies have shown that if a young person respects a police officer on the ball field or in the gym, he or she will likely come to respect the laws that police officers enforce. Such respect is beneficial to the young person, the police officer, the neighborhood, and the business community.
The Police Activities League promotes trust and understanding between young people and police officers by bringing youth under the supervision and constructive influence of dedicated law enforcement professionals. The program also enhances public awareness about the role of police officers, including the reinforcement of responsible values and attitudes taught by parents.
History of the Police Activities League
The P.A.L. started with a bang -- a rock through a window, to be more precise. A youth gang in New York City, harassing storekeepers and generally making life miserable in the neighborhood, caused the problem that pioneered the concept of the Police Athletic League.
Lieutenant Ed Flynn of the New York Police Department’s Crime Prevention Bureau liked kids. He wondered about the uselessness of always punishing them, and whether kids might be reached before they got into trouble. He sought out the gang’s ringleader. As they talked, Lieutenant Flynn listened for the reasons behind the kids’ anti-social behavior. The ringleader shouted the frustration of the ghetto, telling Lieutenant Flynn, "Man, we ain’t got no place to play, nothing to do. The cops are always hasslin’ us. We can’t even play baseball." A baseball fan himself, Lieutenant Flynn thought, "Why not help these kids form a team? Give them a place to play under police supervision. Be a friend instead of an enemy."
He talked it over with fellow officers and neighborhood storekeepers. Each chipped in a dollar for equipment and uniforms. Lieutenant Flynn then found a playground where the gang could play under the watchful eye of friendly police officers. The team was an instant success. Before the year ended, there were close to a dozen such teams throughout New York City. That was the birth of the P.A.L.
The P.A.L. has since broadened its scope to include arts and crafts, dance, music, drama, social services, vocational guidance, remedial reading, and field trips, indeed virtually any healthy activity that young people might enjoy.
For more information about the Police Activity League in your neighborhood, call the number corresponding to your community below. If you don’t know which community your neighborhood is in, go to the Community Map page.
AREA POLICE ACTIVITY LEAGUE OFFICERS ROSTER
Officer Al Calderon
Officer Larry Covington
Officer Gary Beecher