The OKC Police Athletic League uses sports to build lasting relationships with inner city elementary students.
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The Oklahoma City Police Athletic League (OKC PAL) has found a unique way to help prevent juvenile crime and violence. Turn cops into pals.
Officers assigned to OKC PAL are embedded into inner city elementary schools. Every day of the school year, they serve as the students’ coaches, confidants, and program directors. The goal is to reach kids on the fields and turf where they feel most comfortable, and earn their trust through mentorship and a shared love for athletics.
“Somebody is going to mentor these kids. It’s either me or a gang member in the neighborhood.” –Lt. Jermaine Johnson, OKC Police Department
There are currently more than 300 PAL chapters in place across the country. While their individual programming varies, each chapter operates under the same shared conviction:
If reached early enough, young people can develop strong positive attitudes towards police officers in their journey through life toward the goal of maturity and good citizenship.
The long term goal of the OKC PAL is to introduce the program to each of the 50-plus elementary schools in the Oklahoma City Public Schools school district.
To learn more about the Oklahoma City Police Athletic League, visit okcpal.org