Chief Joseph Paulino of the San Bernardino City Unified School District Police Department has spearheaded this event in response to the negative connotations associated with law enforcement in current media. The vision of the community forum is to increase positive awareness and engagement between law enforcement and community. In many cases, reluctantly, the crowd gathered unsure of what to expect and defensive due to personal bias. Officer Ryan Tillman of the Chino Hills Police Department put spectators at ease and began to shift perspective as he shared his own personal testimony prior to joining the department. The officers who shared at this event empathized with community concerns as they began to illustrate their daily responsibilities through conversation and role-play.
Allowing students to role play with fake weapons and real life scenarios was an eye-opening experience. Student participants shared the following thoughts: “Police wouldn’t pick on you for no reason; there’s probable cause for everything they do and I saw that in action.” Alfredo Perez, PAL Sophomore. “I think there are good and bad officers but I’ve only experienced bad ones before today. This was educational and informative. I appreciate good officers taking the time to share their stories and experience with us.” Jeremiah Cook, PAL Junior
Many of the myths to law enforcement were addressed by officers who are engaged in the trenches of this work daily. The question was asked, “How important is it for kids to grow up and become police officers in their neighborhoods?” The response was simple and echoed by the entire panel of officers, “There is no better option than for an officer to return and serve in the neighborhood they knew as home.”
Mr. Radden, CEO of PAL Center and Academy, reminded the audience, "Community builds community, not police. The police are there to helps us maintain law and order in the communities we build. If we want change in our community we must have knowledge and understanding about the things we need to change. This event was a great platform for students and community to get firsthand knowledge from officers, to aid in our efforts to make change in our communities and lives.”
PAL Charter Academy is providing solutions for student success by supporting students through an individualized approach to learning. PAL is currently enrolling for 2017 summer and fall sessions as well as PCA Middle School, 6th – 8th grade scheduled to open fall 2017. For more information visit the website at www.palcharteracademy.com or call 909-887-7002.