The Millville Police Athletic League (PAL) is a juvenile crime prevention program providing educational and athletic activities for all children, primarily those in high-risk neighborhoods. Millville PAL brings youth under the constructive influence of responsible adults and police officers who volunteer their time as positive role models.
The National Police Athletics/Activities Leagues, Inc. exists to prevent juvenile crime and violence by providing civic, athletic, recreational and educational opportunities and resources to PAL Chapters. As a membership organization, National PAL provides Chapters with resources and opportunities to grow their own programs and enhance the quality of individual programming.
These resources include funding opportunities through various grants, general liability protection programs, programming opportunities through affiliate organizations, and goods and services provided by corporate partners and supporting organizations. In addition, National PAL provides Chapter members opportunities to bring their young athletes together to compete in a championship environment in several sports.
As the success of the PAL concept spread, PAL programs developed in other communities. A little over 70 years ago, six Chapters on the eastern seaboard joined together to form an association to share ideas and resources and compete in several sports. Today, there are over 400 PAL Member Chapters in law enforcement agencies servicing over 700 cities and 1,700 facilities throughout the United States, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, serving more than one million youth, ages 8 to 17.
It is based on the conviction that young people - if they are reached early enough - can develop strong positive attitudes towards police officers in their journey through life toward the goal of maturity and good citizenship. The PAL program brings youth under the supervision and positive influence of a law enforcement agency and expands public awareness about the role of a police officer and the reinforcement of the responsible values and attitudes instilled in young people by their parents.
Studies have shown that if a young person respects a police officer on the ball field, gym or classroom, the youth will likely come to respect the laws that police officers enforce. Such respect is beneficial to the youth, the police officer, the neighborhood and the business community.