Police Activity Leagues (or, as they are commonly referred to: PALs) are organizations that provide youth with the opportunity to participate in organized activities and events such as sports teams, art classes, mentoring programs and community service projects.
These activities help build relationships between young people and local police officers while also providing opportunities for civic engagement.
The goals of these leagues are to promote positive interactions between law enforcement personnel and members of the community, create a safe space for dialogue among all participants while emphasizing respect, trust and understanding among everyone involved.
PALs provide a platform for open communication with police officers and provide an opportunity for young people to ask questions, and most importantly, form relationships with law enforcement personnel. This can help to build mutual understanding between police and the community they serve, while providing a bridge of trust that may not have existed before.
PALs provide a safe space for community… and create an atmosphere where all participants are respected regardless of race, gender identity/expression or sexual orientation; an environment that encourages communication among law enforcement officials and citizens.PAL Partner Program Director, in Tips for Creating a Safe and Inclusive Environment at PAL Programs
In addition to providing a platform for communication and relationship-building between police officers and young people, PALs are also instrumental in helping law enforcement personnel better understand their local communities by creating opportunities for dialogue around important issues facing those communities. This type of engagement has been shown to improve trust between police officers and members of the public which can lead to improved communication on many levels.