WASHINGTON, April 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On Tuesday, April 19, the National Police Athletics/Activities Leagues, Inc. hosted a first-of-its-kind Town Hall to unite youth and law enforcement, creating a common ground for open discussion about issues affecting both groups. With representatives from the Department of Homeland Security, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and police department heads from around the country meeting with students from nationwide PAL chapters, this trailblazing event highlights National PAL's work to bridge the disconnect between law enforcement and youth to build stronger, healthier communities.
"When we bring together law enforcement and youth to sit down for open, honest discussion about each other's needs through events like today's Town Hall, we can work together to build a counter-narrative to the negative message being projected about the relationship among our youth, the community they live in, and the law enforcement personnel who protect it," Chris Hill, president of the National PAL Board of Directors, said.
In addition to the Town Hall, more than 30 students from PAL chapters nationwide joined police officers for a behind-the-scenes look at law enforcement, including a mock search-and-rescue mission at a US Coast Guard base, touring an FAA tower, and meeting the pups and handlers of the TSA's K-9 unit.
"I got to meet so many different people, all from so many military and other things," DJ Wiggans, a student from Henrico PAL, said. "It really inspired me, that I need to be on the right path so I can get one of these jobs and so that I can be like one of these inspiring people."
For more information about National PAL and its mission to improve youth-police relationships through education, local training, and positive messaging, visit www.nationalpal.org.
About Us: 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 youth. 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 law enforcement, and reinforces the responsible values and attitudes instilled in youth by their parents.
CONTACT: Emily Gerston, [email protected]
SOURCE National Police Athletics/Activities Leagues, Inc.