The National Police Athletic League began back in 1910 when Captain John Sweeney of the New York Police Department had the insight to offer inner-city youth some positive experiences, which involved interaction with law enforcement officers. He began knowing that the program would influence the youth of his community. Law enforcement involvement and supervision at recreation sites such as ball fields, classrooms, and playgrounds helped to position these officers as friends.
Today, PAL serves more than 1.5 million youth nationwide between the ages of 4 and 18. The organization has over 300 law enforcement agencies serving over 700 cities and 1,700 facilities throughout the United States, including the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
The Lakeland Police Athletic / Activities League Inc. (PAL) became incorporated in the State of Florida on October 14, 1993. Lakeland PAL began with only a few children participating in the program; Today, Lakeland PAL staff and volunteers mentor to more than 900 local children annually and supervise dozens of local volunteers.
Filling Playgrounds Not Prisons
The purpose of the Lakeland Police Athletic League is to foster and encourage a spirit of loyalty and faith in community youth for American traditions and institutions.
PAL seeks to promote and safeguard the interests and general welfare of the youth of the community. PAL strives to instill good health habits, sportsmanship, and good morals. PAL also helps to fulfill the need for recreational, educational and social activities that are designed to rehabilitate youthful first-time offenders and prevent their return into the criminal justice system.
Lakeland PAL is located at Simpson Park - 1725 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. The club is for boys and girls ages 4 to 17. Fees are charged per activity.
The Lakeland Police Athletic / Activities League, Inc. was formed to prevent juvenile crime and violence utilizing recreation-oriented juvenile crime prevention programs that relies heavily upon athletics, recreational activities, and education to help kids go right and stay right. Through our crime prevention programs, our mission and commitment is to "fill playgrounds, not prisons."