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The PAL Story

The Cleveland Police Athletic League (PAL) was originally started in the late 1930's by then Safety Director Elliot Ness. Cleveland PAL was officially incorporated in 1956 and joined the more than 300 national PAL chapters in 1966. Cleveland PAL is one of the oldest community/police organizations in the nation.

     For nearly 90 years, Cleveland PAL has been providing a broad lineup of positive, wholesome sports, recreational and extracurricular activities for children between the ages of five and 21. PAL sponsors many sports activities throughout the year including: football, boxing, baseball, basketball, golf, tennis and more. Over the years, PAL programs have expanded to include educational opportunities, vocational guidance, tutoring and computer learning.

     Among the many programs and activities available today, PAL stands alone as the only program that provides daily interaction with police officers in the community. In fact, it’s not unusual to find present-day PAL volunteers, coaches and police officers who participated in PAL as children. The vast majority of today’s PAL kids come from minority and low income families.

     PAL’s goal is to divert children from negative influences and enhance a child's individual self-esteem, discipline and actualization. PAL coaches provide positive role models for children as they develop into adulthood. 


Legendary Federal Agent and former Cleveland Safety Director Eliot Ness was instrumental in starting Cleveland's PAL program

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