The Hattiesburg Police Athletic League (HPAL) is a youth crime prevention program that uses educational, athletic and recreational activities to encourage trust and understanding between police officers and youth. HPAL believes that early, positive interactions between young people and police will result in youth having better and more positive attitudes towards law enforcement. HPAL is designed to help youth to mature into good citizens.
Furthermore, HPAL brings youth under the supervision and positive influence of law enforcement, expands public awareness about the role of a police officer in the local community and reinforces responsible values and attitudes instilled in young people by their parents.
With reference to police and youth, studies have shown that if a young person respects a police officer on the ball field, gym or in a classroom, then that youth will likely come to respect the laws that police officers enforce. Such respect is beneficial to our youth, our police officers, our neighborhoods and our business community.