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Police Athletic League (PAL)

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.

Our Mission

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."

Mentoring Works!

Student Achievement - Mentoring Works!

On Thursday, May 8, 2014 Joquebed Louis, accompanied by his mentor Dr. Shandale Terrell - Administrative Assistant at Crystal Lake Middle School, graduated from Polk State College earning a 3.25 GPA. Mr. Joquebed Louis earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts which was presented to him by Dr. Eileen Holden - President of Polk State College. He also served as President of the African American Students Union at Polk State College. Mr. Louis will be attending the University of Central Florida in the Fall, 2014, majoring in Advertising - Public Relations. Joquebed Louis graduated from Winter Haven High School in the Polk County School District; where he focused and studied extremely hard to be the successful student he is today. 

Congratulations to Mr. Joquebed Louis on a job well done, and wishing him much success in the future.


The Lakeland PAL Youth Leadership Program - Visit Institutions of Higher Education

Thanks to the sponsorship of Polk County, CareerSource Polk; the Lakeland PAL Youth Leadership Program traveled to Atlanta, Georgia from Wednesday, June 11th – Saturday, June 14th visiting Georgia Tech University, Morehouse University, Clark Atlanta University, Spellman College and a historical tour of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Museum and birth home. 

The students from the following schools participated in the PAL - Youth Leadership Program: 

•  Lakeland Senior High School, 
•  Lake Gibson High School, 
•  George Jenkins High School, 
•  Kathleen High School, 
•  Sleepy Hill Middle School, 
•  Crystal Lake Middle School, 
•  Rochelle School of the Arts, 
•  Lakeland Highlands Middle School, 
•  Southwest Middle School, and 
•  Lake Gibson Middle School 

There were forty five (45) youth from ages 14yrs - 18yrs and seven (7) staff members, which were the following: Timothy Abram, Lakeland PAL Executive Director; LPD Officer and Coordinator Shawn Waller, Gail Wallace, Chris Byrd, Elice Ingraham, Josiah Boss and volunteer and mentor Shandale Terrell. We are seeing more of our community youth inspiring to pursue higher education as a result of exposing them early to colleges and universities. There were fifteen (15) seniors, males and females inspiring to pursue higher education as a result of exposing them early to colleges and universities in state and out of state. 

Last year, twenty one (21) seniors who participated in the PAL Youth Leadership Program graduating class, and were members of the PAL Program for several years. These students are now are attending institutions of higher education in 2014.


PAL Youth Leadership Summer Program

Meet the Staff

Lakeland PAL Director Tim Abram

Tim was born and raised in Lakeland, FL and currently serves as the Executive Director for the Lakeland Police Athletic League (PAL). Annually, PAL serves over 900 children in the Lakeland community. Tim has worked with troubled youth for over 21 years and has served as mentor to thousands of children for the Department of Juvenile Justice Systems. Tim graduated from Lake Gibson High in 1991, and later attended Grambling State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation/ Leisure Studies. While attending Grambling State University, Tim is very proud to have had the pleasure of playing football for the late legendary coach Eddie Robinson. Tim has since gone on to earn an MBA from Everest University in 2005, and he recently completed the Certified Public Manager certificate from Florida State University. Tim is married to Tomeka Abram and they have 3 boys; Corinthian 18, Timadre 17, Tylan 12 and 2 girls; Tinika 22 and Tia 4.


Lakeland PAL Program Coordinator Officer Shawn Waller

Officer Shawn Waller was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He relocated to Lakeland, FL in 2006. Officer Shawn joined the Lakeland Police Department October 1, 2007 and is currently enrolled at Valencia College majoring in Criminal Justice. While in Detroit, Officer Shawn received his World Instructors Training certification with a concentration in athletic strength and conditioning training. He has over 12 years of strength and conditioning/physical fitness training and coaching experience with youth. Officer Shawn also worked as an assistant football coach for Pop Warner for three years, and coached football at the high school level for Henry Ford High School (head JV, defensive line Varsity) in Detroit, MI. Officer Shawn grew up attending United Way Mentoring Programs, and played football and basketball for Detroit PAL. Officer Shawn also assisted with mentoring over 20 at risk teens involved in physical/alcohol abuse for the NAACP (Southfield, MI). He worked in the Uniform Patrol Division for six years and is currently a Program Coordinator for the Lakeland Police Athletic League (PAL). Officer Waller resides in Lakeland with his wife and two daughters.

Lakeland PAL Program Coordinator John Williams  

John Williams was born and raised in Lakeland, FL. and graduated from Lake Gibson High School in 2006. He later attended the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio where he received his Bachelor of Science in Strength and Conditioning with a minor in Personal Training, while having the opportunity to play foot- ball on scholarship. After graduating, John worked 3+ years with Polk County Parks and Recreation serving as their Athletic Coordinator and League Liaison. During his tenure, he helped strengthen community relationships through youth/adult leagues, field rentals and creating a fitness event at one of the parks where no event had previously existed. He also gained experience in special event planning, sponsorship training, assessing budgets and customer service training. He has always worked with kids through various summer youth camp programs and church activities. John looks forward to furthering his education through future training opportunities and currently serves as a Program Coordinator for the Lakeland Police Athletic League (PAL).