About PAL

Our Mission

To reduce juvenile crime and violence by using police officers and community members as coaches and mentors for inner city youth.

Who We Are

The Minneapolis Police Activities League (PAL) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization based on the philosophy that when given a choice kids will choose to participate in positive character building activities instead of committing crimes. At PAL we believe every kid deserves a safe place to play.

PAL offers youth a range of services free of charge. We do not want any of our youth to feel the stigma of not being able to participate because their family cannot afford to pay. Our research has shown that charging even a small amount of money to participate can limit participation. All PAL programming is paid for through fundraising and donations.

PAL is a very diverse organization with 90% of our youth being children of color including, African American, Hispanic, Hmong, Native American, Somali, and more. Many of these children come from families that live well below the poverty line.

Our Goals

  • Continue to seek Law Enforcement Partnerships across the state of Minnesota and also campus university police that are located in Minneapolis
  • Continue to seek partnerships to support the PAL program financially along with bringing volunteers to assist with the activities
  • Continue to seek the on boarding of additional police officers and support staff in key roles to help with the administration, coaches and after school activities

Board of Directors

Mathew Korte (Chair/President)
Partner,Ciresi Conlin LLP

Julianne Leersson (Vice-Chair/VP)
Equity & Inclusion Manager, City of Minneapolis

Jeff Peterson (Vice-Chair/VP)
Retired; Ecolab Government Relations

Greg Idelkope (Treasurer)
First Vice President – Wealth Management & Portfolio Manager, UBS

Kin-Joe “KJ” Sham (Secretary)
Co-Founder & COO, Zurich Medical

Noah Croom
Assistant General Manager, Minnesota Timberwolves

Shane Zahn
Director of Safety Minneapolis DID

Tony Sanneh
Founder & CEO, The Sanneh Foundation

Jamal Abu-Shamala
Financial Advisor – UBS Financial Services

Eric Sugarman
Vice President of Sports Medicine, Minnesota Vikings Football



Lieutenant John (Jack) Kelly
Executive Director
(612) 673-3655

Sergeant Rena Dudgeon
Program Director
(612) 673-5853

Officer Tony Adams
Program Coordinator
(612) 673-3953

Officer Cheryl-Leigh Goodman
Program Coordinator
(612) 673-5370

Our Staff

Our History

During the 1930’s a New York City Police Officer assigned to the crime prevention program was assigned to assist a local store keeper who was having trouble with a neighborhood gang that kept throwing rocks through his store window. Lt Ed Flynn contacted the leader of the gang and arranged a meeting.

The gang was causing trouble in the neighborhood in part because they had no place to go and nothing else to do. Lt Flynn believed there was an opportunity to reach out and build a positive relationship with these kids to prevent them from getting into further trouble instead of simply arresting them. Lt Flynn worked with fellow police officers and local businesses to collect money so they could buy baseball equipment for the youth and provide them with a safe place to play.

Since that time PAL has grown to more than 350 local chapters in over 700 cities throughout the country.

National PAL

The National Association of Police Athletic Leagues (NAPAL or PAL) is a non-profit 501c3 organization that was created to prevent juvenile crime and violence by providing education, training, and resources to local PAL chapters throughout the country. National PAL does not provide direct funding to local chapters. Funding at the local level is dependent on support from individual donations, business leaders, corporations, and foundations.