The St. Petersburg Police Athletic League (PAL) has been devoted to keeping St. Pete happy, healthy, and safe for the past 58 years.
Through a vast array of programs, PAL works with the youth of St. Petersburg, especially those considered as disadvantaged or at-risk. They promote self-esteem, personal health, team skills, safety, and the like. Their goal is to prevent potential negative interactions with law enforcement, establishing St. Petersburg’s police as a source of help and benefit for the community. With organized activities like open gym nights and wrestling club, PAL creates a safe space for St. Pete youth to develop healthy lifestyles, foster good relationships with law enforcement, and prevent crime.
The St. Petersburg Police Athletic League (PAL)
Number of Employees
"The Police Athletic League (P.A.L.) is a registered non-profit 501c3 organization. We specialize in providing affordable after school programs, summer camps, and athletic programs for children and teens. In partnership with the Saint Petersburg police department, we provide mentorship and crime prevention programs."
Core values/mission statement
The mission of the Police Athletics League of Saint Petersburg, Inc. is to prevent crime among our youth through recreation, education and athletics. Our programs are 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. Thus, PAL programs foster relationships between our youth and local police officers.
Paula has been working for local PALs for nearly 20 years. She has filled roles of Senior Counselor, Program Director and Assistant Director. Paula is certified in HIV/AIDS Awareness, Baby Basics Classes, CPR, First Aid and Healthy Family Training. She specializes in curriculum for after school programs and summer camp, and she has developed mentoring programs for boys and for girls. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Paula has worked with several generations of families in her service to the community through her work at PAL and other agencies.
A three-year veteran of the St. Petersburg Police Department, Officer Lopez has been assigned to the Police Athletic League following a stint as a patrol officer. Officer Lopez was a multi-sport athlete in high school, and played basketball at the collegiate level for two years. He has coached numerous teams in different sports over the last 10 years, and has served as an assistant in several team camps. In both years that he worked with the University of Florida Softball Team, the team made it all the way to the Women’s College World Series. Officer Lopez is a member of the Mayor’s Mentors program, which is associated with the Take Stock in Children scholarship program for the Pinellas County School Board, and also serves the police department as a CPR instructor, supplemental recruiter, and member of the SWAT team. Officer Lopez knows firsthand the dedication and commitment necessary to achieving success on and off the playing field. He is enthusiastic about the opportunity to put his considerable experience and knowledge to work as a positive influence and mentor for PAL program participants, helping them take steps that ultimately will lead them to achieving success in life.