On February 17, 2016, City Council Member Adam Medrano recognized the Dallas PAL Boxing Program for their outstanding commitment and dedication to youth and the City of Dallas.
Council Member Medrano stated that it all began in early 2013 when Senior Corporal Daniel Espinosa stepped foot inside the Janie C. Turner Recreation center in Pleasant Grove, asking for permission to use their facilities in an attempt to teach kids how to box. With the assistance of Recreation Manager Yolanda Carter and Coach George, a volunteer, the Boxing program kicked off.
It takes a lot of equipment to get a successful program started, but all Coach Danny had was high hopes and a bag full of hand wraps and boxing gloves. There was no boxing ring or punching bags, but little by little the pieces came together and the boxing gym officially opened its door in May 2013.
Fast forward three years to today, the Dallas PAL boxing program accepted their Special Recognition Award for the reputation is had developed in creating champions. Great Job Dallas PAL. Keep up the outstanding work.
To bring more awareness to teen dating violence and abuse the Dallas PAL Girl Empowerment/D.I.V.A. members attended the Dallas Children’s Theater for a viewing of the play “dont u luv me?” on February 14, 2016.
“dont u luv me?” Allows the viewers to see how tiny missteps in what seems like an ideal romance can quickly escalate into aggression and violence and ensnare its victims with paralyzing fear. DONT U LUV ME? has been celebrated for not shying away from the devastating consequences of dating violence while encouraging teens to make wise choices and empowering adults to provide them with useful tools. Brace yourself for this challenging journey of teens and the influential adults in their lives.
The Dallas Police Athletic League collabarated with E.B. Comstock Middle School and organized a field trip to Southern Methodist University (SMU) and the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. The goal of the field trip was to expose students to a university campus and tour the presidential library. Various college choices and career opportunities were discussed throughout this mentoring activity.
The participants included 47 E.B. Comstock Middle School students, two teachers, two counselors, and three officers from Dallas Police Athletic League (Senior Corporal Bureatha Graham, Senior Corporal Kevin Masters, and Officer Larvtha Shepard). The participants learned about SMU History and President Bush’s personal experience as President of the United States.
DISD Board Trustee Bernadette Nuttall donated tickets and lunch for this extraordinary experience. The Dallas Police Athletic League would like to thank Mrs. Nuttall, SMU staff, and Dallas Independent School District, for their support throughout this educational adventure.
The PAL Promising Basketball League is a partnership between the Dallas Police Athletics/Activities League, The Promising Youth Alliance, Dallas Parks and Recreation, and the Dallas Independent School District. The league targets 6th grade boys and girls and was created to provide an outlet for this age group to participate in positive activities. Sixth graders are unable to participate in UIL sports, which presents an opportunity for this type of partnership. The Promising Basketball League is a pilot a program which could be used to develop other 6th grade sports leagues.
PAL Promising Basketball is currently in its 3rd week, with two weeks left to go. Games this Saturday December 12th will be held at Kennedy-Curry Middle School and A. W. Spence Middle School. The final games will be played December 19th at Exline Recreation Center. Games have also been played previously at Pleasant Oaks Recreation Center. PAL Promising Basketball has been very competitive, extremely fun and a showcase of good athletes.
The State Fair of Texas, in conjunction with area law enforcement agencies and fire departments, are announcing the 2015 Kids and Cops Day, a free event for grade school kids. Representatives from area public safety agencies featured on the 2015 cards will be present.
The trading card signing event will be held at the State Fair of Texas, on Kids and Cops Day, October 12th from 10am to 4pm. The location is Gate 5 Grand Avenue entrance, inside the Corral area, adjacent to the Kids Boardwalk. The event will feature police and fire personnel and equipment, and the officers will be signing their trading cards. (additional information in State Fair Guide)
Kids and Cops, a registered trademark, is one of the largest continuously run trading card programs for public safety in the nation. Started in 1994 the program has sponsored and distributed some seven million trading cards to date, depicting officers and firemen on collectable trading cards. This year over 100 officers are featured on trading cards with service animals, equipment, and vehicles. The Dallas FBI office, Texas Rangers, and DISD School Police, will join the Dallas Sheriff, Police, and Fire Department on 80 different trading cards.
Kids and Cops Trading cards was started in 1994 by Reserve Captain Charlie Tyner with the Dallas Sheriff’s Department and is funded by the donations of area businesses and individuals. This year’s sponsors are Dallas Children’s Charities and The Kroger Company.
DPD’s Pet of the Week is Cookies A800362. Cookies, AKA Van Gogh, is a happy go lucky, one-eared pup with personality to spare. He will make a great companion, and seems to get along well with other dogs. Cookies is spayed, vaccinated and microchipped and comes with 30 days free pet insurance and a free Pets 101 class. His adoption fee is just $20 for anyone who downloads the Finding Rover app, registers, and joins the DAS pack!
Let’s help find Cookies a Furrever Home. You can meet Cookies at Dallas Animal Services. He is available for adoption at Dallas Animal Services main location, 1818 N. Westmoreland, 75212. They are open 11 am to 6:30 pm Monday-Saturday and 12 noon until 5 pm on Sunday. Pictured with Cookies is Sergeant Natalie Moreland who is assigned to the Youth Outreach Unit.
PAL’s Pick! is a quarterly series that highlights participants in the Dallas Police Athletic/Activities League who show great improvement and progress in the program. This quarter’s PAL’s Pick! is 23-year-old Prentice Richmond, and while he’s no longer a child, he grew up as a “PAL kid” and continues to volunteer his time and give back to the program.
Prentice grew up in a low-income community and left home at 14 years old to escape his negative environment. He witnessed drug sales and homicidal violence at a very young age, and he felt like sports was his only refuge.
“When I left home, I was going from place to place, staying with different friends, not knowing where my next meal was coming from,” Prentice said. “I got involved in as many after school activities as possible, one being the Dallas Police Athletic League.”
Prentice started participating in the PAL program in 2006, and has since become a coach for the midnight basketball program. He volunteers his time and talent every weekend in the summer months, to teach the fundamentals of basketball, along with other character traits, such as respect for authority and self-control.
“I enjoy watching Prentice assist PAL during our Midnight Basketball clinics,” said Dallas Police Officer Christine Smith. “He possesses such a natural gift of the sport but also as a coach. All of the police volunteers and kids who participate in the program look up to him and respect him.” Officer Smith works in the PAL Unit and said Prentice is not only a delight to be around, but that he is a natural leader.
“There are so many mischievous things a young man or woman can get involved in, and I applaud the PAL program for giving kids a positive alternative,” Prentice explained. “PAL is amazing, and this program saved my life.”
Prentice is also a product of the Dallas Police Explorer Program Post #4264 and a former volunteer with the DPD Gang Intervention and Community Outreach Program. Despite the instability of his childhood, Prentice graduated from Lincoln High School as the captain of the football team, Student Body President and Prom King. He attended the University of Texas A&M Commerce to pursue a degree in law enforcement. Policing is in Prentice’s blood; in fact, he is currently employed with the Dallas County Sherriff’s Department.
Kudos to Prentice Richmond for using what the PAL program instilled in him, and paying it forward by giving back to the children of his community.
Pictured from left to right: Dallas Police Youth Foundation President Crista Walker, Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown and Verizon Wireless Public Relations Representative Audrey Lundy
The 2014 fall session of Blue in the School concluded January 22, 2015, with a closing celebration at William Brown Miller Elementary School, where Verizon presented the Dallas Police Youth Foundation with a $60,000 grant. The grant will support the foundation’s outreach efforts to engage and mentor Dallas-area youth.
“Today’s youth face many challenges as they grow up,” said foundation president Crista Walker. “The Dallas Police Youth Foundation supports the efforts of the Dallas Police Department’s youth outreach programs to provide positive interaction between police officers and kids. The officers, while teaching the Six Pillars of Character, are also being positive role models.”
Blue in the School is a four-week curriculum taught by Dallas Police Officers. The subject matter focuses on six pillars of character: respect, trustworthiness, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown said the program aims to “prevent negative behaviors among students by developing and implementing specifically tailored, age-appropriate curriculum to instill life-long skills for healthy decision-making, problem-solving, negative peer pressure reversal, conflict management and character development.”
Blue in the School launched on October 7, 2013, across 14 Dallas ISD elementary schools. That number increased to 30 by the conclusion of the 2014 fall semester. The program provides life skills to 4th-grade students to help them navigate through life’s difficult choices and become the leaders of tomorrow.
Each of the schools also participated in a HopeLine drive, a national program at Verizon, which collects used cell phones from any wireless carrier to be recycled or donated to domestic violence agencies. William Brown Miller Elementary School collected the most devices for HopeLine and won a class party and celebration from Verizon.
The Dallas Police Youth Foundation is very grateful to be the recipient of Verizon’s grant.
Pictured with Jordon from Left to Right: Officers C. Caperton, #9123, D. Espinosa, #9542 and N. Tri, #9559
PAL’s Pick! is a quarterly series that highlights participants in the Dallas Police Athletic/Activities League who show great improvement and progress in the program. Jordan McDonnell, a 17 year-old junior at H. Grady Spruce High School, is this quarter’s PAL’s Pick!
Jordan started attending the PAL program with his friend in August 2013, and he didn’t exactly roll with the punches when he got there. “When I first joined, I just wasn’t that into it,” Jordan said. “I was just going because it was something to do.”
However, Jordan quickly changed his perspective after participating in the program several days a week and learning the mechanics of boxing. With only a few months of training, Jordan came out swinging and began fighting in local tournaments.
“That’s when I started loving it more and more,” Jordan explained, as he smiled from ear to ear. “I grew up rough and this was structure I wasn’t used to.”
Jordan comes from a single-parent home and is the youngest of five children. He took on adult-like responsibilities at a young age, but never once thought to throw in the towel.
“I know he comes from very humble beginnings and he sets the example for the other kids watching him, both younger and older,” said Dallas Police Sergeant Victor Renteria, #8558, one of the supervisors assigned to the PAL program. “I see the passion he fights with and it amazes me because he fights like it’s his last fight, every single time.”
Police Officer Daniel Espinosa, #9542, trains Jordan at the Janie C. Turner Recreation Center, five days a week, and six if there’s a tournament approaching.
“Hard work and dedication; that’s all you get from Jordan, and that’s all you need,” said Espinosa. “He’s teachable. He listens and strives to be the best boxer he can be.”
The PAL program gives boys and girls a non-confrontational interaction with police officers and creates relationships that better both the officer and the child.
“PAL boxing makes me want to go further in life. I know I can’t get in trouble because it’ll come back to the PAL program,” said Jordan. “And I want to do well in school; I’m trying to get scholarships to college and I want boxing to take me there.”
Jordan aspires to attend Georgetown University and with the PAL program in his corner, coupled with his hard work and dedication, he has a fighting chance.
It’s a common misconception that when a police officer knocks on your door, it’s not a good thing; but what if the officer comes bearing gifts?
This year marks the 30th anniversary for the Dallas Police Department’s Santa Cops, a program that affords families in the community a Holiday to remember.
Since the program’s inception in 1984, the Dallas Police Department has assisted more than 10,000 families in the City of Dallas during the Holiday season. Patrol officers, along with other members of the police department, see the various needs in the community and the Santa Cops program allows the department to give back in a unique way.
During the week of Thanksgiving, members of the department identify families in need of food, clothing and toys. Officers are engaging with members of the community and listening to their needs.
The gifts are delivered on the Saturday before Christmas, this year they were delivered December 20th.
Santa Cops is one of the many ways the Dallas Police Department would like to wish the citizens of Dallas a safe and Happy Holiday season.