Hollywood Police Activities League
The Police Activities League (PAL) is a national program model with a membership exceeding 2 million children serving over 700 cities throughout the United States. Originally founded in 1914 in New York City, where Police Commissioner Arthur Woods began a social movement that would eventually be known as the Police Athletic League. He was concerned for children who lived in congested tenements and organized a city-wide search for vacant lots to be converted into playgrounds. He also set aside city blocks where traffic was prohibited. In addition to providing a safe place to play, it was hoped that these youth would develop positive relationships with officers who became mentors, teachers and advisors. A goal of the program was to reduce tensions between police officers and youth, believing it is more effective to “build youth, than mend adults.”
More than one hundred years later, the program is more relevant today than ever and validated by research that explains the positive impact of having role models and mentors as well as the positive effects of sports and enrichment programming for youth development. By utilizing law enforcement officers and volunteers to serve as the mentors, PAL combines these strategies with LAPD values and creates a safe and nurturing environment for local youth and their families.
Each PAL is unique to the community it serves, and the size and strength of each PAL depends on its stakeholders. For 25 years, businesses and residences have been partnering with LAPD Hollywood to build the Hollywood PAL program, and their hopes for its expansion grow each year. These community partnerships have allowed Hollywood PAL, to continue to evolve and expand to now serve over 600 youth annually while creating new opportunities for growth and development for our most underserved and diverse children and their families.
Hollywood PAL is a pillar in the community, partnering with fellow nonprofits and businesses for the benefit of the entire community. We pride ourselves on being resourceful, agile, and comprehensive when it comes to supporting our families and serving Hollywood.