Boston Police Activities League, Inc.

Engaging Cops and Kids to Build a Better Boston

aka Boston Police Athletics League, Inc.   |   Dorchester, MA   |  https://bostonpal.org

Mission

PAL is committed to fostering a culture of trust and respect between the community and the Boston Police Department through programs that promote character development, improve educational outcomes, and reduce crime.

Ruling year info

1986

Executive Director

Karen O'Sullivan

Main address

PO Box 220645

Dorchester, MA 02122 USA

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Formerly known as

Boston Police Athletic League

EIN

22-2672818

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Community Coalitions (S21)

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Although overall crime has steadily decreased in Boston, violent crimes, particularly those committed by youth are on the rise according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (U.C.R.) Program. In addition, in Boston, as around the country, there are many issues and high-risk behaviors that face our urban youth. As an example, a survey of thousands of students at 17 public high schools in the Boston area suggests that despite campaigns decrying cyberbullying, the problem has grown in recent years. The study, in the Journal of School Health, found that 21 percent of the 16,000 participating students said they'd experienced cyberbullying. A report from the Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation in Washington DC, entitled Youth Investment and Police Mentoring, provided evidence to support the philosophy that urban youth-serving organizations, in partnership with innovative police chiefs, commanders, and field officers, have the capacity to reduce dramatically the factors associated with children

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Community Policing & Engagement

The Boston Police Department has the #1 Community Policing program in the country.

A crucial element of the BPD’s community policing strategy is connecting with the members of the communities they serve, with a focus on the city’s at-risk youth, through educational, social, cultural and athletic activities.

This engagement is designed to promote an environment of mutual trust and respect, with the ultimate goal of creating a safe environment that affords all citizens the opportunity to flourish.

The Boston Police Community Policing program, known as the Bureau of Community Engagement ['BCE'], is considered the 'parent program' of Boston PAL. We support all BCE youth and community programs, such as We Belong, Women in Blue, Junior Police Academy and many more.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

The WE BELONG program empowers inner-city youth to be leaders of tomorrow through public service education, community service and outreach. This leadership program provides challenging experiences to high school juniors and seniors to develop leadership skills and explore future careers.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Women in Blue is an inspiring women’s program focused on increasing trust and building stronger relationships with young women and girls by providing exposure to new experiences; conducting open & productive discussions; and engaging in impactful activities.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Economically disadvantaged people

The Junior Police Academy is now in its 15th year providing over 250 kids each summer (including a week for children with disabilities) with the above experiences as well as opportunities to learn about the City of Boston through a myriad of field trips. The Junior Police academy enables youth and the Boston Police to interact and foster a culture of trust and respect for one another.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
People with physical disabilities

Coffee with a Cop brings police officers and the community members they serve together–over coffee–to discuss issues and learn more about each other. For the men and women of the BPD, #CoffeeWithACop is all about shaking hands, building trust and making friends.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Families

Boston Police Commissioner, William Gross, a member of our Board of Directors, credits PAL's support as an essential component of his community policing vision.

"Our programs operate throughout all Boston neighborhoods. Thousands of children and young people benefit each year from PAL resources. From youth/ police dialogues to basketball games, from the Junior Police Academy to flashlight walks, from book clubs to boxing lessons – Boston youth are interacting with police every day. PAL makes this possible”. ~ Commissioner William Gross

PAL’s support of BPD’s initiatives extending the reach and collective impact of the community policing programs and help to provide the best possible opportunities for Boston’s under-resourced and at-risk youth to embark on a productive and positive journey in life. Leadership, sports, culture, school initiatives and youth dialogue programs are positively impacting the future of Boston youth and our communities.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Officers host dialogues with youth in community centers across the city, fostering positive interactions between the police and the youth, and opening the door for broad conversations on topics such as conflict resolution, effects of trauma, life skills, community service, career goals. There are also outings, field trips and events administered throughout the year (movie outing, museum visit, sports game).

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
At-risk youth

Taught by officers to 5th and 6th graders, this program provides basic life skills youth need to avoid gang membership, youth violence and other criminal activities.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
At-risk youth

Officers engage in dialogue with youth during lunch time at a number of schools in Boston. This provides a unique opportunity for Officers to engage with youth during school hours to break barriers between youth and police, and foster more open conversations about issues, challenges, and questions the youth may have.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Officers share safety tips, provide insights on stranger danger and noticeable behaviors, and connect with kids on bullying. Much of the lesson is shared by Boston Police Department Coloring Books, which aids in the presentation and level of understanding for the younger children.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

PAL is uniquely positioned to play an integral role in supporting the BPD in its incredible efforts to contribute to making Boston a world-class destination. To that end PAL is evolving to play a larger role, working collaboratively with the BPD to identify the best programs and raise significant capital to provide a level of consistent support. In addition, The BPD has recently created a new Bureau of Community Engagement. As part of their strategy the BPD will “Strengthen and expand relationship with PAL, streamlining communication and coordination to maximize impact of resources and investments”.

The Boston Police Department is a national leader in community policing, a widely accepted philosophy whereby the police and the
community work together to solve problems of crime, disorder and safety issues and to improve the quality of life for everyone in that community. A crucial element of the BPD’s community policing strategy is connecting with the city’s at-risk youth through educational, social, cultural and athletic activities to promote an environment of mutual trust and respect. Programs like PAL have helped make Boston a safe place to live and work and a vibrant community. By focusing a part of their community policing efforts on the city’s youth, the
BPD seeks to create a safer environment and build mutual trust and respect through programs, activities and events that occupy their free time and thus provide an alternative and productive path in life.

PAL supports a broad array of programs and activities that create the opportunity for the community, children/youth and BPD Officers to interact in a positive and constructive manner. This engagement cultivates relationships based on trust and respect, with the ultimate goal of creating a safe environment that affords all citizenry the opportunity to flourish. This in turn positively reflects the efficacy of other Boston-based non-profit organizations. Founded in 1985 and historically focused on athletics, PAL has expanded to support a wide range of programming that serves to enhance youth police dialogue and provide outlets to keep the city’s youth busy and out of trouble.

PAL currently supports over 40 programs as well as various activities and events citywide. These programs positively impact the lives of over 6,500 youth. In the last 12 months, over 350 officers also participated in PAL sponsored programs and activities.

Three of PAL’s signature programs include:

● Women in Blue - an association of dedicated female Boston Police Officers of various ranks and units, working together – not only to increase trust, but to build stronger relationships with youth, particularly young women and girls. Women in Blue combine joint participation in athletics with productive dialogues and discussions, as well as exposing young women to opportunities and new
experiences.

● We Belong - is hosted weekly by Boston Police Officers. The Mission of the program is to empower inner-city youth to be the leaders of tomorrow through public service education, community service and outreach. The We Belong Program is a community-based leadership program that provides a fun, safe, and challenging experience for high school juniors and seniors to develop their leadership skills, explore potential careers, learn about issues and challenges facing our communities, meet the leaders of the organizations working to address them and learn how to participate.

● The Jr. Police Academy offers multiple, weeklong programs that introduce the participants to the various operational components of the Department with a visit to Police Headquarters for tours of the Identification and Ballistics Unit, trips to the Police Academy, Range, Mounted Unit, Harbor Patrol and more. The program is in its 14th year providing over 250 kids each summer (including a week for children with disabilities) with the above experiences as well as opportunities to learn about the City of Boston through a myriad of field trips.

Additional programs and activities include:

● Shop with a Cop
● Nationally Recognized Gang Intervention
● After School Educational Activities
● Youth Enrichment Programs/OST Programming
● Safety Forums
● Athletic Leagues (baseball/softball, football, lacrosse, boxing, skiing, swimming, etc.)
● Music/Arts Programming
● GED Programming
● City-Wide Girls Initiatives
● Field Trip

PAL has provided over $9,000,000 throughout its history to support BPD efforts. Funding was largely provided by board members/community leaders. Under new strategic direction aimed at maximizing its impact, PAL is expecting to double its revenues in 2019 to enhance its infrastructure and expand programming. With this additional support, PAL will have the resources necessary to provide more effective support for new and existing programs, and improve feedback and reporting on the effectiveness of its supported programs and events.

Financials

Boston Police Activities League, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Boston Police Activities League, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 3/1/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Charles E. Batchelder

Wyman Street Advisors

Nathan Pusey

City National Bank

Kahlil Olmstead

Gilbane

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/01/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data