Organizational History

The first Police Activities League was founded in 1937 in New York City.  While working with the city’s juvenile gangs, Lt. Ed Flynn of the NYPD, learned that many kids committed crimes due to having no place to play and a lack of positive activities to pursue.  He was troubled that the only contact kids and cops had was related to law enforcement and unfriendly at best.  Lt. Flynn’s desired to change the relationship between kids and cops from one of being perceived enemies to that of mentors and friends.  Lt. Flynn found a playground and established the first PAL program—a baseball league.

PAL programs may be called Police Activities Leagues or Police Athletic Leagues.  They include many types of athletic, recreational, and educational activities.  Each PAL chapter is unique to its community, providing programming and working collaboratively with other agencies to best impact the families it serves.  In over 350 communities across the United States and Canada, PALs exist as youth centers, summer camps, and program extensions of police departments.

Beaverton PAL originally operated as an extension of Westside PAL, which formed in 1997.   In June 2006, Westside PAL merged with Portland PAL until the Portland program closed in 2013.  The Beaverton Police Chief at the time, Geoffrey Spalding, recognized the value of the program and rallied community support, including city council members and mayor Denny Doyle, to continue the Beaverton program.   Beaverton PAL is a safe and affordable youth program aimed at building relationships between kids, cops, and the larger community through recreational and enrichment programs.  Studies have shown correlation between a youth respecting law enforcement officers on the ball field, gym, or classroom and the youth then respecting the laws the officers are bound to enforce.  This benefits the community as a whole.

We provide after-school programming and have had three national champions from our boxing gym, led by volunteer coach, Charlie Rios.