Kansas City Police Department expands Police Athletic League program to south side

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Friday was Kansas City’s first ever expansion of its Police Athletic League program to the city’s south side.

Otherwise known as PAL, the program has been around for decades in the city’s central core and east side, but after the events of 2020 the department decided it was important to expand it to South Patrol.

Some wore badges, others uniforms with guns at their sides. But Kansas City Police want the city’s youth to know however they are dressed they aren’t the enemy.

“There’s the narrative that police and the community don’t get along, well we’re changing that today,” Sgt. Garron Carter said.

And what better way to do that than with a game of hoops? Or better yet sitting next to a police officer with an oreo on his forehead trying to work it into his mouth.

“Doing it with the police it builds a trust relationship, we see the officers riding around in the police cars but no interaction,” grandmother Sonya Cherry said.

The program also includes life skills coaching, art, and dinner where you are allowed to use your hands. It’s being offered on Friday nights for children age 8-13 for a reason.

“Quite often we talk about kids doing negative things and this gives them something positive to do,” Carter said.

Guardians who signed up their children for the program say after the past year’s events it couldn’t have come at a better time.

“The police have a bad reputation and its important for him to see positive experiences with the police and know just because a few people make mistakes not everybody is the same way,” great aunt Michea Bland said.

They’ll meet Fridays throughout November and December 5:30 to 8:30 at South Patrol. There is no charge for the program. You can register here.

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