Police youth program in the North Valley returns this fall, raises money after hiatus

KSEE24 News

LOS BANOS, California (KSEE) –A youth activity program is coming back to the North Valley after a year and a half-long hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s really popular in our community, people love it,” said Los Banos Police officer Noah Jones, who’s in charge of the Police Activities League (PAL) program.

The nonprofit has been in the city since 1989. After pausing activities in March 2020, Jones said they’re getting ready to sign up kids this fall –but first, they’re asking for the community’s help.

“It’s called the Giving Pump [campaign] through the Shell Corporation.”

Throughout the month of September, if you fill up at the Shell gas station on 24729 S. Mercy Springs Road near the I-5 in Los Banos, a portion of those proceeds will benefit PAL.

“During the course of the year we have approximately 1,200 kids that come through the program,” said Jones.

Activities vary during an eight-week long period, from flag football in the fall, to girls softball in the spring and baseball in the summer.

Officer Jones said it’s also an opportunity for the community to see him outside of his typical police officer role.

“They see me organize youth activities, they see me dragging and chalking softball and baseball fields, they see me around the community just doing day to day stuff.”

He added that it also serves as a youth crime prevention program, and as a way to introduce kids to a career in law enforcement as an option.

“I’ve seen several kids that’ve participated become police officers.”

Los Banos Police PAL will be taking sign-ups soon. If interested, check their Facebook page for updates.

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