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Waco PD starting Police Athletic League

Police say their goal is to build community engagement, interact with youth

WACO, Texas — The Waco Police Department has been making efforts to build community engagement for the last few months.

In June, they hosted the Community Opportunity Event which provided resources for the community and also gave police a chance to engage with people in a fun setting.

Most recently, they are now bringing back the Police Athletic League for the first time in 25 years. 

"This is just one more way for our police department to engage and interact with the community, especially our youth," Waco PD PIO Cierra Shipley said. "We really want to interact with them because they're our next generation of leaders."

The PAL's board of directors has been moving the pieces in place to get the organization off the ground, holding two silent auctions this week with generous prizes and also reiterating the importance of the police getting involved with the community on a more regular basis.

"We feel like the real peace comes from genuine relationships and that our officers are meant to bring peace to Waco," VP for the PAL Board of Directors Douglas Cobb said. "So we want them to be able to participate in athletic clubs and after-school groups. It's basically a Boys and Girls Club for Waco."

While Waco Police Chief Sheryl Victorian has mentioned in the past, the best way to help lower crime and improve the future of Waco is to engage with the community in a positive way, she and the PAL recognize it is not their burden to bear alone.

The PAL is calling on the entire Waco community to play a part in improving the city.

"I would encourage all of you to please work with our police department," Waco PD Chaplain Pastor Richard Thomas said. "As we see, as noted before, the kids need the PD to help steer them in the right way. And I'm asking you all to help us."

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