The National Association of Police Athletic/Activities Leagues Inc.'s motto is, "It's better to build youth than mend adults."
An active member of National PAL, Marietta PAL's MISSION is to prevent juvenile crime and violence by providing civic, athletic, recreational, and educational opportunities which create trust and build understanding between officers and youth.
In June 2007, the Marietta Police Athletic League (PAL) was launched by the Marietta Police Department. Utilizing funding from the City of Marietta's Franklin Road Weed and Seed Project, a Department of Justice initiative to weed out crime while seeding community revitalization programs, PAL was added under the project's community policing initiatives. Through this proven community-building model, Marietta PAL significantly helped to improve relations between police and area residents.
Founded by Lieutenant Michael Goins, Marietta PAL had been his dream for 20 years. Lt. Goins had a history of involvement in local youth programs, having served as Marietta Middle School's 7th-grade basketball coach. His passion for positive youth development and restless effort in bringing the PAL program to at-risk Marietta communities demonstrated an un-ending dedication to the concept of police and community cooperation.
Since 2007, Marietta PAL has served nearly 6,000 youth and their families. PAL has sponsored soccer, basketball, swimming, dance, martial arts, and tutoring programs for Franklin Road youth. In 2008, PAL joined forces to help launch the Marietta Youth Empowerment through Learning, Leading and Serving (YELLS) Mentoring Program. This youth leadership and community service program matches high school mentors with elementary students. Together these youth lead community service events and programs. PAL continues to partner with YELLS by providing National PAL funding, transportation assistance, and adult mentors. In 2008, Marietta PAL launched both boys and girls basketball and a cheerleading program at the Marietta Sixth Grade Academy. In 2012, PAL added a track and field program. PAL has also sponsored Back to School events, Holiday Events, and Youth & Law Enforcement Symposiums. In December of 2014, the Marietta City Council agreed to provide Marietta PAL full access to the newly renovated Lawrence Street Recreation Center. This new home has afforded PAL the space to expand programs and serve more area youth year-round.