PAL Program Aimed at Having a Positive Influence on Dallas' Youth

We're half way through the year and already Dallas has seen more than 100 homicides.

Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall has stressed the importance of reaching the city's youth. One program is taking kids to the court make a positive impact on the community.

To the kids, it's simply a good time. The adults know it's much more than that. The program is an example of Dallas' youth headed in the right direction.

Thursday night was the kickoff of the Dallas Police Department's PAL "Midnight Basketball." The time spent here is crucial. The age group, eight to 18, is critical.

"That's the age that they have to make a decision which road they're going down. And we try to get them early. And if they're on the borderline we want to give them positive activities," said Sgt. Brad Deason.

15-year-old Willie Arkansas is a product and now a volunteer for the program. His time here has paid off.

"It's helped my future a lot by my character, just being a good person and helping out others and just doing the right thing," said Arkansas.

It's been a busy year for Dallas Police. More than 100 homicides this year already, and record-breaking numbers during the month of May.

Weaved throughout Chief Renee Hall's message to the public is the need for youth activity – a deliberate effort to intercept the problem early.

Basketball is being developed during the program. So is character.

Midnight basketball is offered every Thursday free of charge from 4:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Sam Tasby Middle School until August 1.

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