Hollywood Police Activities League
The PAL program, founded in 1914 in New York City, brings children under the supervision and positive influence of police officers. PAL is a national program with a membership exceeding 1.5 million children and more than 400 law enforcement agencies serving over 700 cities with 1,700 facilities throughout the United States.
The Hollywood PAL chapter, which was formed in 1996, provides a highly-subsidized means for youth in at-risk areas to participate in after-school activities that keep them off the streets. Program activities include: a highly-regarded martial arts program, soccer, Hollywood Fit Club, Junior Police Academy, the Youth Leadership Council, and the PAL College Scholarship Program, as well as monthly special activities and field trips. Hollywood PAL serves more than 600 at-risk youth grades K-12 annually from Hollywood and surrounding areas of Los Angeles, offering programs six days per week throughout the year.
Studies have shown that if a young person respects a police officer on the ball field or in the gym or a classroom, the youth will likely come to respect the laws that police officers enforce. Protective factors, such as connectedness to adults outside the family and involvement in social activities, shield children from the possibility of becoming violent (DHHS 2001; Resnick et al. 2004), and supportive law enforcement presence and the availability of neighborhood resources lowers the risk of delinquency and substance abuse. It is this unique bond between officer and child that sets PAL apart from other after school programs.