The main objective of the Police Athletic League (PAL) of Cape Cod is to provide children with a safe, happy and enriching environment where opportunities for growth and development may occur. The PAL program is based on the belief that children, if reached early enough, can develop a strong, positive attitude towards police and their community. Today, if a child is lucky enough to have a caring parent, more than likely that parent is working long hours to make a living for the family; some have no parental figure. The PAL program brings youth under the supervision and constructive influence of a responsible law enforcement agency and caring community volunteers. Additionally, the program expands public awareness about the role of police as community caretakers, especially when working with young adults. Youth recreational and mentoring programs can contribute to a significant reduction in delinquency in the community. PAL uses athletic, recreational, educational and artistic enrichment programs as a tool- a way to involve children in the program and inspire them to achieve greatness. PAL has also incorporated programs such as computer skills, mentoring and homework help in order to further assist our children.
PAL History and Beneficiaries
Detective Kent Clarkson and Detective Paul Robidoux, the Co-Founders of PAL of Cape Cod, were investigating the shooting death of a 20 year old young woman in the Sea Coast Shores area of Falmouth when they stumbled across a 7 year old boy in the bushes playing a hand-held video game. The child belonged in another residence several miles away. During their chat with this child, he revealed that his home life was unsettled and turbulent. So to get a break from the home, the child would leave, wander around and find a quiet place to play.
It was at this moment that Detectives Clarkson & Robidoux decided to make a safe-haven for Cape Cod youth. The center would be a safe place with no bullying, no stress, no income comparisons with proper mentoring and guidance. They pulled their resources, began to solicit community support to create PAL of Cape Cod:
**to build a youth center with an after-school program and summer camp- a safe, healthy, enriching environment for youths.
**to utilize the local law enforcement agencies, having officers volunteer their time to hang-out with kids in the center or run programs like boxing and fishing trips.
**to reach out to volunteers and the community for their support and expertise in developing programs and activities.
Detective Kent Clarkson, is still, over 10 years later, involved in every aspect of managing PAL of Cape Cod. With his dedication and the support of volunteer community members, PAL has continually expanded to meet the needs of the Cape Cod
community and its youths.
PAL of Cape Cod differs from many of the 350 national chapters in that we have a Youth Center, After-School Program and Summer Camp Program. Most PAL chapters operate out of community centers, libraries and public school facilities and only offer programs for short 6-12 week sessions. PAL of Cape Cod strives to offer affordable after-school care and a summer camp program for children ages 7-15 and provides a safe, healthy and educational atmosphere where opportunities for growth and development may occur to the over 50 children a day who use the Youth Center or attend one of the programs. PAL is 100% funded by public donations and grant support- the programs PAL offers is due to the support of the community.