Writer supports establishment of Police Athletic League in Lemoore

By Jerry Pierce, Retired CHP

I am a long time resident of Kings County, and am writing you in support of the city of Lemoore establishing a Police Athletic League (PAL) program. After 30 years with the California Highway Patrol, I retired in December 2012. In January 2014, I began a part time Teaching position with the Kings County Office of Education, teaching at Lemoore High School, and at Sierra Pacific High School.

 I have been living in the Central Valley since 1985, and have realized several things that have been painfully obvious for a long time. It is more common than not that a greater populous of our county and your city every year are living at or below the poverty level, and for all families in rural valley towns such as Lemoore, public and social services are scarce at best! The children of these communities living near the poverty level are in dire need! Dire need of positive mentoring. Dire need of healthy activities, and in dire need of help!

 I was extremely excited to hear Lemoore Chief of Police Darrell Smith announce plans to establish a PAL program in Lemoore. I was extremely frustrated and perplexed to hear that this idea has met with resistance from some of Lemoore city officials! The bottom line is YOUNG LIVES MATTER! Wake up people! You have an outstanding chief who truly cares for your community. Instead of finding ways/excuses to toss this idea in the garbage, roll up your sleeves and ask your chief what you can do to make this (PAL Program) happen.

 I cannot wrap my head around the idea that some people are ignorant enough to suggest that parents of some children would be concerned about the welfare of their child, if they were to observe a uniformed officer mentoring another child at the same facility!! I think every able-minded parent would love to see officers helping to make any environment safe!

Young lives matter. This is a wonderful idea that needs to come to fruition! If you throw this idea in the garbage, you are throwing young lives in the garbage! Count me in. Count my adult children and grand- children in! Do not turn your back on these young lives!

Jerry Pierce

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