Cobb Police Athletic League (PAL) is a charitable non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of young people ages 4-15. Cobb PAL focuses on juvenile crime prevention through athletic and recreational activities for Cobb County’s high-risk neighborhoods, primarily in South Cobb.
Through the various athletic and recreational activities these youth are surrounded with the positive influences of adults, police officers, and volunteers in a controlled, supervised environment. The PAL program helps expand public awareness about the role of a police officer and the strengthening of the responsible principles and attitudes instilled in young people by their parents.
The Cobb PAL organization is a great example of providing a positive environment for less privileged youth to interact with police. Cobb PAL targets children from the South Cobb area, specifically encouraging children who have never had the opportunity to participate due to an inability to pay the costs often associated with organized sports. Police officers serve as coaches and mentor the children and in the first season alone, logged over 500 volunteer hours. Since its establishment in 2011, Cobb PAL has experienced overwhelming support from the local community and was asked to expand its programs. Cobb PAL now offers a competitive track program, a football camp and a baseball camp.
The cornerstone of the track program is mandatory parent involvement. Parents of Cobb PAL kids also serve as volunteers, assisting at meets and practices. As a result of this law enforcement and community collaborative effort, the youth involved in the program see the police in a setting that fosters trust and also demonstrates to the community the police department’s commitment to serving citizens.
In the spring of 2011, the Cobb PAL Track Team competed in its first track season with 75 children (ages 6-14 years old) from the South Cobb area. In 2012, the Cobb PAL Track Team served 110 children, a 46% increase from 2011. In 2013, the Cobb PAL Track Team served 115 children. Today, the PAL track team has continued to grow and participated in its first ever USATF National Track Meet in July 2015. We placed in the top 20 at Nationals in nine events.
Cobb PAL hosts a football camp and baseball camp for kids from the South Cobb area annually. This program includes teaching skills/fundamentals, improving fitness and the opportunity for the kids to show off what they have learned for parents on the last day of camp.
Cobb PAL is continuing to grow and we are working toward expanding the program to different parts of the county and hope to soon offer more sports. Cobb PAL seeks financial support through grants and donations.