SAPAAL: Police Athletic & Activity League (Youth Gang Prevention)

What is SAPAAL?

SAPAAL is a youth crime/gang prevention program that utilizes educational, athletic and recreational activities to create trust and understanding between police officers and youth.  It is 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. The PAL program brings youth under the supervision and positive influence of a law enforcement agency and expands public awareness about the role of a police officer and the reinforcement of the responsible values and attitudes instilled in young people by their parents.

Studies have shown that if a young person respects a police officer on the ball field, gym or classroom, the youth will likely come to respect the laws that police officers enforce.  Such respect is beneficial to the youth, the police officer, the neighborhood and the business community. The commitment of the Foundation is to provide our youth with the tools and resources to be productive members of the community.  Your contribution to the Santa Ana Police Foundation will help our youth citywide and increase the access to the SAPAAL program.  It is the best investment you can make for the future of our youth in the community

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In order to combat gang violence, assist youths to resist the temptation of joining criminal street gangs, and encourage them to stay in school, the Santa Ana Police Department in conjunction with the Santa Ana Parks and Recreation Department has formed the Santa Ana Police Athletic Activity League (SAPAAL).

SAPAAL is a crime prevention program that employs educational, athletic, and recreational activities to create trust and understanding between youths and law enforcement. SAPAAL will focus its efforts on at risk students. At risk students experience a myriad of difficulties, which impede their learning: lack of resources, lack of support, lack of language fluency, etc. At an early age, they find it difficult if not impossible to perform at grade level. Every year they continue to fall further and further behind. The lack of success leads to low self-esteem, self-worth, and the belief that no one cares. Often they are drawn to individuals who share similar ideas, values, and beliefs. To gain recognition or peer acceptance, they may engage in inappropriate or illegal behavior. These individuals are prime candidates for joining a criminal street gang.

The goal is to break this cycle with early recognition and intervention. A resource “Drop In Center”, staffed by Police Activity Athletic employees and volunteers, would provide students with a safe haven. Tutoring, in conjunction with computer access, reference and educational materials, would help youths to be successful in school. Peer support groups would offer youths someone to talk to about problems they may be facing. Sports and recreational programs would teach youths the importance of teamwork, discipline, maturity, and good citizenship.

Police officers coaching and mentoring demonstrate to youths that officers are truly interested in their development and well-being.

Agency Contact: Tom Serafin
Director
Contact E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 2627 W. Mc Fadden Ave
Santa Ana 92705
Telephone: (714) 647-6591
Fax: (714) 835-2289