The Santa Barbara Police Activities League (PAL) strives to build positive mentoring relationships among teens, the police department, and members of the community through educational, athletic, cultural, and leadership development programs. PAL programs help steer low-income and disadvantaged teens toward successful academic and career goals while fostering positive relationships between the youth and law enforcement personnel. PAL focuses on three primary areas: Teen Center Enrichment, Teen Leadership, and Family/Community Outreach.
Fractured relationships between law enforcement and minority populations continue to abound, and healing that distrust is a valiant effort. The Explorer Post program offers positive interaction with law enforcement and a glimpse into the daily lives of law enforcement personnel. The program provides weekly mentoring, training, and education on the purposes, mission, and objectives of law enforcement and public safety. PAL hopes to be an instrument in reversing the negative view of law and authority and an avenue for creating a stronger, united community.
When I first started the Police Explorer program I was a shy and timid 16 year-old girl. I had always dreamed of becoming a Police Officer but was too quiet and had no idea how I was going to achieve my dream. At first I was intimidated by the amount of police training we were expected to learn but soon after my whole life had changed. Having Police Officers train and encourage me to be a better Police Explorer made me a better person overall. I became more disciplined, responsible and dedicated to working harder for the things I wanted to accomplish. After one year in the post, I became an Explorer Sergeant . Two years later I was the Explorer Captain. I became a confident 21 year-old women not afraid to tackle difficult situations and now had a new family of Police Explorers to do it with. Three years ago I was hired by the Department as a cadet, a step closer to my dream.
- Jocelyn Martinez