(Dothan, AL)--The Dothan Police Captain Keith gray has been involved with law enforcement for over 30 years. At 17 he joined the junior police explorers at Northview High School. Gray said the program may have saved his life.
“If the Dothan police department didn’t reach out to me, I may not have been here, there’s actually no telling where I would be,” Gray said.
Gray said he joined the program because officers reached out to him. The Dothan Police Department’s Athletic League, or “PAL,” will help officers, like Gray; help other children in the community.
"Typically what we see is a combination of coaching athletics as well as giving educational assistance such as tutoring and mentoring." Dothan Police Sergeant Rachel David said.
The "PAL" program has been proven to reduce crime. Studies have shown kids who work with law enforcement are less likely to get into trouble and are more eager to help law enforcement, especially when there's no intimidation factor.
"As opposed to us coming out a house and arresting someone for some type of domestic incident, we can go out with these young kids and they can see the softer gentle part of law enforcement,” Gray said.
The Dothan Police Department is remodeling a building for “PAL,” and that's where they need the community's help.
“We are looking for donations and support from our community not only financially but assisting, mentoring and working with these young teens we truly believe that we can make a difference in these children’s lives, one life at a time, “David said.
Captain Gray is confident in the “PAL” program and says it will benefit not just children, but the entire community.