Casper PD Starts Wyoming's First Police Athletic League

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Casper Chief Wetzel recently put an initiative into action to bring the force and the city a little closer. News 13's Jeff Platt found out it's more than just a few new titles and some training.
Annie Clark helps run the boxing clubs. She said, "It used to be that kids ran to police officers when there was a problem. Now its almost like they're running away."
It's an issue boxers at the Boys and Girls Club of Central Wyoming thought needed fixing and they got an idea of how to do it on a road trip.
Clark said, "We went down to Salt Lake for a boxing tournament at their PAL facility, got to talking to their chief and a couple of their officers and got some interest in it."
PALs, or police athletic leagues, are common in many of America's major metropolitan areas.
Clark said, "These leagues are huge everywhere else. They're everywhere, except Wyoming."
When the boxing club found out we were the only state that didn't have one, it was an easy choice for Casper PD to start Wyoming's first police athletic league."
Chris Walsh said, "The primary purpose is to serve the under served kids in our community."
Former Casper Police Chief Walsh sits on the Boxing Club board and he knew the club already had a sturdy foundation.
Walsh said, "The people that run the club and have run the club for years are excellent mentors."
Casper PD leaders hope their officers can join the ranks of those excellent mentors and maybe learn something themselves.
Captain Steve Freel of Casper Police Department said, "Kids will look up to police officers, and police officers are going to look at kids a different way."
The launch of this program ties in with Casper's current Police Chief's new community involvement initiative and Captain Freel understands why this is important.
Freel said, "We're not here to enforce the law, we're here to help each other out and to build a relationship and a friendship."
Clark says this is only the beginning of what will become a much bigger program and plans to add art and literature lessons to it as well.