A new trailer will allow Newark’s Police Athletic League chapter to better connect with the community.

The trailer is loaded with sports equipment, toys, games and other supplies and can be driven to neighborhoods and parks around Newark to set up community outreach events.

“The benefit of a mobile PAL trailer over a fixed building location is that the trailer will allow members of the police department to go into the various neighborhoods where residents and young members of the community feel comfortable and secure,” Newark Police Chief Paul Tiernan said.

The trailer was purchased with donations from the Newark Area Welfare Committee, Newark Morning Rotary Club, Full Circle Foods, Friends of Fusion Foundation, National 5 & 10 and Carvertise.

Newark’s PAL chapter was formed in 2019 and is intended to provide an outlet for local kids to engage in sports and other activities after school and on weekends.

“Research shows that these times are often when juveniles are most likely to commit crimes or become victimized themselves,” Newark PAL President Sgt. Greg D’Elia explained at the time. “Positive interaction with police officers, and other mentors affiliated with the PAL, reduces this by establishing role models and by giving the juvenile participants an alternative to bad behavior.”

The National Police Athletic League was founded more than 70 years ago and now includes more than 300 local chapters. The New Castle County Police Department’s PAL offers a number of programs at four sites around the county.

The Newark chapter is planning to establish after-school programs at local elementary schools, hold community events, sponsor a weeklong Newark Police Youth Academy Camp and work on other projects in the community.

The group’s long-term goal is to plan and raise money to build a PAL community center here in Newark, possibly in Dickey Park.

The PAL trailer will make its debut on Aug. 3 for National Night Out. Officials will shut down Main Street and Academy Street for the event, which runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes strong police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live and work,” Lt. Andrew Rubin said.

Attendees can meet first responders and watch demonstrations. The Main Street Alfresco outdoor dining event will be held in conjunction with National Night Out.

Participating agencies include the Newark Police Department, University of Delaware Police Department, Delaware Natural Resources Police, Delaware Alcohol & Tobacco Enforcement, Delaware Department of Correction Probation & Parole, Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Company and University of Delaware Emergency Care Unit.

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