LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — Angel Pacheco is passionate about giving back. Whether on his court or in a Louisville Police Department uniform, Pacheco’s goal is to serve and defend.
“I grew up playing basketball all the time. Basketball is my favorite sport,” Pacheco said. “So when we got the chance to come and mentor the kids, I knew that was what I wanted to do because I could be involved in the community and be involved with the kids.”
Pacheco is new to the Academy since graduating in August, but he signed up to coach the Louisville Metropolis Activity League to give back to the community.
“We returned PAL to Louisville in January 2022. Our primary goal is to bring officers and families together in the same space through shared interests and activities,” said director of the Louisville Metro Police Operations League. Rick Paulin says.
Since 2022, more than 400 children and 60 officers have participated in the program. Besides basketball, the league also has boxing, bowling, archery, cooking, fishing, and running.
The ultimate goal is to build relationships with police officers and communities.
“It’s cool to use the police to come out and coach, but at the end of the day, what I’ve said to my kids is, I’m your friend, I’m here. Don’t call me a police officer.” , just call me Coach,” Pacheco said. “It’s because I’m here for the kids. I’m here to interact with them, let them play basketball, watch them play and grow.”
In an interview with Spectrum News 1 earlier this month, LMPD Interim Police Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel highlighted youth programs like PAL that serve as constructive alternatives for at-risk youth. I said I would like to.
Gwinn-Villaroel said, “It’s very important to bring the community into our world and make sure we listen to them and they listen to us. “And more initiatives and forums are on the horizon.” It will be great for us heading into 2023.”
So while leagues offer friendly competition, the goal is to get officers involved in the community to build better relationships in a positive environment.
“I think my parents are also very competitive, so it’s great to have them by my side when I’m looking after my kids to score,” Pacheco said.
The lessons learned extend far beyond the basketball court.
“You see the police officers are here and we’re here to help you, we’re coaches and they’re here playing basketball, so they’re doing something right now. Yes. It’s Saturday,” Pacheco said.
Basketball leagues are held every Saturday and Sunday. Middle school games start at 10:00 am on Saturday and elementary games start at 1:00 pm on Sunday. The league will last him six weeks and will run until the end of February.