Sgt. Terry Preuninger, PIO
Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 8:57 a.m.
The 2020 Spokane Police Activities League (PAL) is up and running for an 8th straight season! Because of COVID19, significant modifications have been made to ensure the safety of all participants without sacrificing the important opportunity for officers to share their lives with the youth of Spokane.
The Spokane Police Activities League is underway in partnership with the YMCA of the Inland NW! Officers have partnered with both the North and Central YMCA’s to provide fun, active and enriching activities for the youth of Spokane County. Over 4 weeks beginning in the middle of July, officers have dedicated their afternoons to pour into the lives of kids by engaging them in, and teaching them core values through, various sporting and STEM activities.
During the prior 7 years of PAL summer sessions, the program has grown in size and popularity each year. This year, due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, significant changes have been made to programming. With the necessary restrictions that have been placed on our community to mitigate potential illness, the Spokane Police Department has taken the initiative in partnership with the YMCA to ensure proper social distancing, active disinfecting, and the wearing of PPE. Group sizes have been kept to single digits, equipment is cleaned between use and all participants; students, camp counselors and officers, are wearing facemasks and maintaining 6 feet of distancing whenever possible.
During prior seasons of PAL, football, basketball, soccer, baseball and cross country running have become the staple events. Due to group size restrictions, the Community Outreach Unit has reinvented the image of this year’s PAL to fit the opportunities provided by the parks that are being utilized. At the North Y disk golf has been a new and fun game the kids have quickly taken to. Others have enjoyed the strenuous hike to the top of Holmberg Park to take in the beautiful view of the city. The Central Y kids have been enjoying learning the sport of Ultimate Frisbee and have been lucky enough to get a complete guided tour of Riverfront Park, gondola ride included, by the wonderful staff of the Spokane Parks & Recreation Department. Youth from both Y’s have also had a great time playing yard games like Bocce Ball, Ladder Ball, Lawn Darts and Cornhole with officers.
The recent social unrest and tensions have not been lost on officers. They recognize that developing positive relationships with youth will help in the healing process and will allow all parties to see the humanity in each other. Officers are sharing their lives and instilling the core values of PAL with young people: Sportsmanship, Integrity, Respect, Honesty and Leadership.
The Spokane Police Department would like to thank the Spokane Public Library for providing the engaging STEM kits that the children get to develop through each week. Many thanks also to the Insurance Agent Joshua Frey and Country Financial, Dry Fly Distillery, the Spokane Police Guild, and our past partners. The partnerships with our local business community make this program possible.
Officers meet with youth at the North YMCA and Holmberg Park on Tuesdays and in Riverfront Park with kids from the Central YMCA on Wednesdays, concluding on Wednesday August 5th. Hours are between 12:30p-3:00p.
Please reach out to Sgt. Schneider or Ofc. Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like to attend a PAL session.
Officer John O'Brien