July 14, 2007 01:56 PM
By Russell Yamanoha
HONOLULU (KHNL)- For the past 57 years, the Honolulu Police Department, has been a part of the Police Activities League.
Some 14 members of Honolulu's finest keep the program running with the help of a host of volunteers.
Its all part of an effort to take a proactive approach in the community, to use sports to build character in young people, teaching them the value of integrity, respect and fairness.
The mission of PAL is simple.
Bring the police and youth groups together to build a connection between the two.
For the last 20 years, Lieutenant J. Pedro has been doing just that.
"We try to develop a relationship with the police officers and the children. And without our programs I can see a lot of children getting involved in the negative aspects of life and heading down the wrong path.
Moanalua Middle Schooler, Blake Pinell is a PAL participant. He's seen the program work first hand.
'There's an older kid that was one kid above me and he was always bullying people around, then he was on my team and after he was my friend."
"Winning isn't important to me. To me it's just teaching them and letting them learn. Maybe one day, we'll see them up in the big leagues, you never know."
Currently more than 10,000 Hawaii kids are involved in PAL.
All of them working with an untold number of volunteers that make PAL go.
Their labor is uncredited, but not unappreciated.
"It's satisfying. Because like I said after 20 years a lot of kids I don't remember but they remember me from coaching."
Some of the sports conducted in the PAL program include, flag football, canoe paddling and kung fu.
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