“Beaverton PAL helps prevent youth crime in the greater Washington County area during peak juvenile crime hours, by providing affordable, structured, and safe youth programs in conjunction with public safety personnel, caring community volunteers, and a professional staff.”
Beaverton PAL is a safe and affordable kids program aimed at building partnerships between youth, police, and the community through recreational, educational, and enrichment programs designed to encourage and develop good citizenship and improve the quality of life in the community. Our programs have proven to reduce crime and improve relationships between kids, cops and the entire community.
PAL was founded in 1937 by Lt. Ed Flynn of the New York City Police Department. While working with the city’s juvenile gangs, he learned that many of the crimes committed resulted from kids who had no place to play and the lack of positive activities to pursue. Additionally, he found that the only contact the kids and police officers has was law enforcement related, and unfriendly at best. Lt. Flynn wanted to change the situation for both the youth and the police officers with the idea of providing kids with a place to play—under police supervision and guidance-so officers could be mentors and friends, instead of perceived enemies. Lt. Flynn found a playground, and the first PAL program was established-a baseball league.
Today, PAL programs include every type of athletic or recreational activity. Each PAL chapter is unique to its community, providing programs, enhancing services and working in collaboration with other agencies to service youth. Nation-wide PAL’s exist in the form of youth centers, Summer camps, program extensions of police departments, located in housing projects, recreation centers, or in their own facilities. These Police Activities Leagues or Police Athletic Leagues exist in over 350 communities throughout the U.S. and Canada.