Police and Youth of the PAL program in Indianapolis

Police and Youth of the PAL program in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS – Growing crime in the city is affecting young people in our community, and outreach programs across Indianapolis are working to have a positive impact on our youth.

Indy’s Police Athletic and Activities League (PAL) program offers young people the opportunity to join the sports team and develop relationships with officials in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

“It is so important that we build this relationship with our youth when they are young so that they can see the police in a positive light,” said Officer Shawn Anderson. “If you need us, you can come to us.”

Based on the season, the PAL program offers baseball, soccer, and basketball to children ages 9-18. Kendall Stevenson signed up his children a few years ago.

“The things that are going on in the world today, and all the conflicts and things like that, I think the younger kids have to be with cops to see that they don’t have to be afraid of cops,” said Stevenson .

Stevenson notes that the program builds trust in his children.

“You can’t follow the crowd and you can’t believe everything you see or hear,” said Stevenson. “You have to think for yourself.”

The program goes beyond practicing and playing for parents and police. Officers use it as a tool to start meaningful conversations with players.

“They used to be kids,” said Sgt. Larry Adkins said. “So somewhere down the line there was some influence or interruption in their lives that dealt with many issues, the disproportionate, the education system, the food, socio-economic issues and the effects on children.”

Officials don’t want the cost to prevent children from attending PAL. For more information, please visit indypal.org.

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