Florida Pal Goes To Tallahassee, 2020
Florida PAL is once again seeking funding to help continue and expand its valuable Youth Leadership Program (YLP) that includes the Life After High School and our 1 Day Programs. Since 1998 the law-enforcement officers of Florida PAL and Local Member Chapters have been able to fund these programs without asking for help from the State of Florida.
Since the start of the program thousands of youth in Florida have participated in the (YLP) as documented by Florida PAL's Kids Trax Program. Many of the alumni of the program are now adults and volunteer and donate time, talent and money to help other youth now participating in the program. This shows the value of teaching our youth to be involved in their communities doing community service and being a productive part of society.
On December 12, 2019 several volunteers traveled to Tallahassee along with Florida PAL Executive Director L. B. Scott to attend the Criminal Justice Sub-committee meeting Chaired by Representative Clay Yarbrough of Jacksonville. Representative Tracie Davis presented HB 2155 to the committee for approval. It was decided prior to the committee that Commander Shawn Lee of St. Johns County Sheriff's Office would speak on behalf of Florida PAL.
Commander Lee gave an impassioned presentation why the State of Florida should fund this program, his presentation was well received by the committee. Representative Davis introduced the Law-enforcement personnel from PAL in attendance, Assistant Chief Lakesha Burton, Jacksonville, Sgt. Richard Henley, Jacksonville, Lt. Artemus Shepherd, Tallahassee and Executive Director L. B. Scott.
The House Criminal Justice Sub-committee voted to approve HB 2155 to the next level. This was the first step in the process to get funding for a program that is one of the best programs in the country as demonstrated by so many organizations on the national level duplicating the program that began in Florida. Please don't forget that Senator Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville has proposed funding in the Senate, Request #1213 and we need to work hard to get this approved along with the House Bill.
Florida PAL needs every PAL Chapter, Law-enforcement personnel, Chief, Sheriff, City and County Commissioners, Volunteers and youth to immediately contact their Representatives and Senators requesting support for funding today. Please don't delay because time is limited. Don't forget in today's society we need more of our youth to be involve in PAL so that they learn the value of being able to communicate with our law-enforcement personnel to reduce incidents of violence and other criminal behavior. Don't forget our motto, Filling Playgrounds Not Prisons.
Florida Pal Goes to Tallahassee!!!
It is with great excitement that Florida PAL reports that a great deal of progress was made on HB 2651 our request for funding. First, I want to say "Thank you" to the following people for traveling to Tallahassee with me yesterday for the Justice Sub-Committee meeting: Chief Jason Shaw, Captain Toby Williams, Lt. Shawn Lee, Officer Sedrick Tyner, Mr. Barry Stuart and two Putnam County PAL representatives, Lt. Art Shepherd. This group made a great impression on the legislators with their uniforms and commanding presence. A special "Thanks" to Sheriff David Shoar, St. Johns County, Assistant Chief Lakesha Burton, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Chief Jason Shaw, Palatka and Sheriff Gator DeLoach, Putnam County for making it possible for this group to travel with me. The House Justice Sub-Committee approved our request and now the bill moves forward. We received a great deal of positive feedback from the legislators as we visited almost all of the committee members prior to the committee meeting.
Florida PAL wants to thank all of the Member Chapters who took the time to send letters of support, emails and telephone calls to legislators. The contacts you all made are what is driving this funding request forward for approval. Please don't think the journey is over because it is only just beginning.
I would be remiss If I did not mention some major supporters who are responsible for getting Senator Stargel, Dr. Shandale Terrell, of Lakeland PAL, Bishop Darryl Forehand, Lakeland PAL and Tim Abram, Lakeland PAL for taking the initiative when they saw we did not have a senate sponsor locked down. My office is taking care of completing the required application form at this time to senator Stargel's office. I'm sure that there are many others that have contacted legislators on our behalf and please don't think you are unnoticed or unappreciated because we will acknowledge you.
Florida PAL will need support as we again attempt to gain support for PAL Chapters in our state.