Police Athletic League is more than sports

Kansas City Police Chief DArryl Forte speaking about the Police Athletic League. Sometimes police work spills outside the lines, like the Kansas City Police Athletic League.

Police Chief Darryl Forte praised it in his blog recently and told of some of its accomplishments.

He is ordering all his command staff to spend time with PAL to understand the impact it is having on the community.

It works with many poor, urban-core children and some of them have gone to college and entered careers they never thought possible.

One graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and another is a player in the NBA.

Among recent success stories the chief lists:

A junior high tackle football player passed out during practice and police discovered he had not eaten in two days. They met with his single mother, found there was little food in the house and she struggled financially despite working two jobs.

They created a plan with the help of corporate partners and created an emergency food drive, and linked the family with city services and financial assistance.

The young player opened up about his struggles and his whole family got needed help.

In another case, while recruiting for flag football, they found a 10-year-old boy who was in trouble at school and getting bad grades.

He agreed to play football but his mother was unhappy about it because she did not like police.

The boy also got into the PAL reading program, became an A/B student and formed a bond with an officer mentor. “…his mother now has a positive attitude toward police.”

In another case, a police coach discovered an isolated 9-year-old girl with low self esteem and other problems.

The officer got her involved in boxing, and now she is confident and a success in school and the boxing ring.

Last month, police learned a PAL youth was living in a house without electricity or heat and cooking dinner on a barbecue grill.

The got utilities restored, got them a stove and hot water heater and did a mini makeover of the house to improve insulation and wiring.

If you would like your child to be involved with PAL, call Sgt. Brad Deichler at 816-413-3621.

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