National Network on Preventing Crime in the Black Community

Police Athletic League of Jacksonville, Incorporated

The Police Athletic League (PAL) of Jacksonville is one of the oldest citizen-building youth programs in the nation. It builds friendships between law enforcement officers and children within the community and is based on the conviction that young people - if reached early enough - can develop strong positive attitudes towards police officers in their journey through life. Studies have shown that if a young person respects a police officer on the ball field, in the gym or classroom, they will likely come to respect the laws that police officers enforce. There is also an opportunity to be a trusted authority figure that assists children with finding guidance and setting goals. PAL has embraced traditional American values where one generation responsibly shares its wisdom and helps kids learn to work together to be responsible for themselves.

PAL is a non-profit 501(c)(3) youth-serving organization with the cooperative effort of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and is committed to providing safe and structured activities to the youth of Jacksonville. PAL employs Jacksonville Sheriff's Office officers and a highly trained civilian staff to oversee these programs to insure safety, competency and order. PAL programs and facilities are available to all youth, regardless of their race, religion or financial situation.

Our Mission:

In an effort to reduce juvenile crime and instill positive values, character and leadership skills, PAL provides safe activities for the youth of Jacksonville. Its athletic and educational programs emphasize positive interaction with law enforcement officers and other adult role models.

Core Values and Principals:
  • Community Focused
  • Always Improving
  • Worthy of Trust
  • Respect for Others

PAL Programs:

Camp PAL: Eight Weeks of Summer Fun
This eight-week summer camp identifies and utilizes the elements of camp experiences that result in positive youth development. It provides a safe and structured program with staff dedicated to modeling, supporting, and demonstrating 40 positive life skills.

After-School Education Program/
Youth Leadership Program

Participants receive mentoring, FCAT preparation, homework assistance, and life-skills training. It is staffed by youth development professionals and educators. It is funded by the Jacksonville Children’s Commission and is available at all PAL locations.

Team Up
This a special segment of the After-School Education Program. It provides physically and mentally challenged children with fun, engaging things to do after school.

Athletic Tutoring
Athletes with a G.P.A. below 2.0 attend tutoring twice a week to remain eligible for athletic competition. It provides student-athletes academic support to meet national and state standards and to prepare them for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT).

BrightStart! Dyslexia Initiative
This is a collaborative effort between PAL and the Nemours BrightStart! Dyslexia Initiative. It provides research-based remedial reading instruction to participants who underachieve in reading and display features of dyslexia. Volunteer tutors work one-on-one with students.

Fired Up for FCAT Pep Rally
The Sheriff's Office and the Fire Department teamed up to help kids get FIRED UP for FCAT! Hundreds gather to celebrate with students who committed themselves to extra tutoring in order to pass their FCATs!

Contact Information:
Lt. Derrick Mitchell, Executive Director
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office
3450 Monument Road
Jacksonville, Florida 32225
(904) 854-6555

(904) 355-1387