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Local Dothan Nonprofit Needs Help From Community

By: Deanna Bettineschi Email
By: Deanna Bettineschi Email

The Dothan Police Athletic League or "pal" was started back in 2011.
A league supported by local boxers and Dothan police officers.
The goal, to help police connect with at risk kids in the community.
But organization leaders say their goal since dwindled away.

This is what it looked like then.
And this....is what it looks like now.
The reason?
Well, nonprofit organization officials say it's because the Dothan Police Department pulled away in 2012.

“When they decided they didn't want anything to do with it, they basically came in never gave us a valid clue of why they were leaving. They came in and they took basically everything that was donated from bags to gloves to weight lifting equipment.” Police Athletic League Leader Corey Lampley said.

Police officers say they pulled away because of various reasons they didn't want to go into detail about, but also because...

“We just wanted to go in a different direction of that of the headland avenue branch and going so fourth we decided to start our own police athletic league to be at the wiregrass rec center in the summer.” Dothan Police Corporal Maurice Eggleston said.

Corey Lamply, one of the leaders of the pal program, says once the police went in a different direction, the organization lost a lot of funding.

“My biggest concern is basically the community of district one. We're trying to help the kids and teach them in life they can go places, and we have no funding to do that kind of thing and its just hard for us to come out of our pockets to go on two and three day trips.” Lampley said.

But officers say they shouldn't be blamed for the organizations hardships.

“We can’t stop a person from doing what needs to be done to maintain their name or their image so if you’re not doing it, then it’s not our fault the people aren't coming to you anymore.” Eggleston said.

The police department hopes the organization will change their name, so officers can use it for their new league starting in the summer.
But organization leaders aren't budging.

“We have no plans to change the name. The name is ours. We are a police athletic league that happens to be in Dothan, so we plan on keeping that name.” Lampley said.

“They may still use it but it will be a thing of where people will have to know the difference between one is actually run by the Dothan leisure services and the police department and the other is run by an independent entity.” Eggleston said.

Something that may get confusing, but organization officials say the name is the least of their worries.
They just want more support from the community and police department, to help keep at risk kids off the street.

Lamply said since the police department pulled away from the organization, the kids who go there feel less connected with officers, which was the goal for the program.


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