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Lakeland Police Athletic League

About PAL...

    The first Police Athletic League was formed back in 1910 when Captain Jon Sweeney of the New York City Police Department had the insight to offer inter-city youth some positive experiences which involved law enforcement. He began the Police Athletic League or PAL knowing that the program would influence the youths significantly. Police involvement and supervision where children engaged in group activities such as the classrooms, playgrounds, and athletic and sporting facilities helped to position Police Officers as friends.

Today, PAL serves more than 1.5 million youths between the ages of 5 and 18. The organization has grown to include in excess of 300 law enforcement
agencies and 1700 facilities throughout the United States,Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

The Lakeland Police Athletic / Activities League, Inc. (PAL) is a cooperative effort between the City of Lakeland, the Lakeland Police Department, local businesses, community leaders, and members of the community. PAL was incorporated in the State of Florida in 1993. PAL is a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 organization; therefore, we operate strictly on donations and support from our community.

We currently mentor and serve over 1,000 youth annually in a myriad of activities such as baseball, football, cheerleading, track & field events, etc.
PAL also offers after-school care where children are provided tutorial assistance from volunteers within the community. Our after-school program provides daily tutorial and computer lab assistance, while also offering free transportation from their respective schools.

Our after-school program strives to improve academic achievement, social competency, and social bonding within the youth of our community. PAL discusses the
importance of drug awareness through group discussions and one-on-one tutoring. As a result, we have seen an increase in grade point averages, while also noticing a decrease in juvenile truancy and delinquency.

    Our after-school tutoring program has grown to over 100 children each day. Most children attending our after-school program do so as an alternative to spending afternoons alone in an empty home. Our organization is not funded by any one sole entity; therefore, we rely on volunteers and contributions from local businesses, foundations, and corporate sponsors.

Lakeland PAL is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of concerned community and business leaders, and local law enforcement officers.

Mission Statement

The Lakeland Police Athletic / Activities League, Inc. was formed to prevent juvenile crime and violence utilizing recreation-oriented juvenile crime prevention programs that relies heavily upon athletics, recreational activities, and education to help kids go right and stay right. Through our crime prevention programs, our mission and commitment is to "fill playgrounds, not prisons."

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