Tuesday, October 17, 2006
LAPD Officer Inspires Youth to Strive for Greatness
Perris: A Los Angeles police officer assigned to Fugitive Warrant Section is realizing his dream of helping young people excel in life.
For the past six years, Officer Andre Mitchell has been on a personal quest: to open a youth sports facility in the city where he lives. Until recently, the children of Perris, California, have had no place to participate in organized sports or engage in other positive activities. Officer Mitchell's answer to the problem has been to create the Patriot Youth Sports Field, a complex that will ultimately serve children throughout the Perris area.
Perris is a bedroom community located approximately 60 miles east of metropolitan Los Angeles in Riverside County.
In addition to offering local children organized sports, the complex will be a source for academic counseling, mentoring and tutoring assistance.
"Our mission is to provide young people with suitable, productive ways to spend their leisure time," said Officer Mitchell. "The negative element offers them false hopes and peer pressure which leads to crime, alcohol abuse, drugs, vandalism and delinquency. Our program promotes safety, security, positive role models, mentoring, and engenders healthy minds and bodies. Here, we form relationships based on positive, shared goals and mutual respect.”
Mitchell is the founder and Deputy Commissioner of Perris Valley Youth Association Sports, which serves 400 children in Perris.
Since 2001, Mitchell and his colleagues have raised more than $100,000 to underwrite their efforts. In addition to devoting countless hours of personal time, Mitchell has contributed over $60,000 of his own money. Recently, the Perris City Council granted a temporary permit allowing Mitchell to move operations from its current location to the new facility in southern Perris. The new facility will include two full-size practice and game fields, 113 parking spaces, and a 960-square-foot snack bar.
"Officer Mitchell's willingness to work for the common good of his community reflects the highest ideals of the LAPD," said Sergeant Lee Sands, an LAPD spokesperson. "His leadership and dedication will undoubtedly benefit these children."
Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores, through a non-profit subsidiary, has agreed to provide $50,000 for additional improvements to the property. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held in Perris on Thursday, October 26, 2006, at 2:00 PM, on the northeast corner of Murrieta Road and the Metz Channel, just north of Dale Street.
Members of the media can contact Mitchell at 951-906-3946 for interviews and additional information.
Questions may be directed to Media Relations Section.