The Police Athletic League of Jacksonville, Inc. is built on the idea that a young person who respects police officers is much more likely to respect the laws they enforce. The concept began with sports programs, but today we do much more. Afterschool care, academic assistance, mentoring relationships, and leadership development programs are just some of the many opportunities, in addition to sports teams, that JaxPAL provides for more than 2,200 at-risk Jacksonville children every year.
Statistics show that the hours from 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on school days are prime time for youth to commit crimes and experiment with drugs, alcohol and sex. Combine that with the fact that across the United States 15.1 million children take care of themselves after school, and you have a formula for high juvenile crime – a formula that plays out in community after community, including Jacksonville.
For more than 40 years, JaxPAL has been helping to break the cycle by providing a safe place for underserved children to go after school. Engaging at-risk youth during these critically important hours contributes to a significant reduction in juvenile crime.
JaxPAL’s unique approach
JaxPAL is unique among youth development programs because it builds respect, trust and friendship between youth and law enforcement officers in addition to providing activities and programs for underserved children. By offering young people an opportunity to interact with and develop strong positive attitudes toward police officers, JaxPAL is helping to build law-abiding citizens who will contribute to our community throughout their lives.
The Police Athletic League of Jacksonville enriches the lives of children by creating positive relationships between law enforcement officers and the youth of our community through educational, athletic and leadership programs.