Police Activity/Athletic Leagues began in 1914 when the New York City Police Department formed the first PAL in an effort to reduce juvenile crime and today, there are approximately 300 PAL Programs in the United States. The only other PAL in Oklahoma in the Oklahoma City Police Athletic League that has existed for over 20 years.
While the Tulsa Police Department has not had a PAL Program, they were doing many activities that fall under a PAL program. Activities such as fishing, basketball, reading with kids and Project Trust are just some of the activities that Tulsa Police officers have been conducting with youth around Tulsa.
The idea of an Organized Tulsa Police Activities League began in 2015 when Major Travis Yates tasked Sgt. Pat Harker and Cpl. Jason Muse with researching the idea. Drawing from the success within other agencies, the Tulsa Police Department began to lay the groundwork to launch the Tulsa Police Activity League (TPAL).
The Tulsa Police Activity League was launched in 2017 and very quickly key relationships were established with various organizations including First Tee Golf, R.B.I. Baseball and the Tulsa Drillers. Several police officers volunteered to get involved and develop additional programs including Sergeant Ken Simpson and an Archery Program. Ideas and concepts grew at such a rapid pace, plans developed to place a full time unit together.
In March 2018, Tulsa PAL Inc. attained non-profit status through the Tulsa Community Foundation and an operating Board of Directors from the community began to work towards the funding of the program.
In May 2018, Tulsa Police Officer Khara Rogers was selected as a Tulsa Police Community Service Officer with her full time duties being TPAL.