City releases funds for Police Activities League despite ongoing - WNEM TV 5

City releases funds for Police Activities League despite ongoing battle

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

A battle was brewing between a local non-profit and the police department that supports it.

The city of Flint released funding on Friday to keep the Police Activities League operating.

The league's future, as well as the facility they call home, remain in question.

"Most of our kids, of the 55 that come on a regular basis, 25 of them walk up here. OK, so we don't want to leave this area. We're critical in this area," said Michael Townsend, board member at the Haskell Community Center.

The PAL is run out of the community center, which remains open with children visiting the center every day. That is despite the fact the Flint Police Department is seeking to sever ties with the board.

The two parties avoided a meeting in court on Friday when the city released funds to retroactively cover staff salaries at the center.

The center's future remains in question.

Flint Police Chief Timothy Johnson said he no longer wants to support salaries going forward and would prefer for the organization to be managed by volunteers.

"Every penny that comes into PAL - whether it's donated, contributions, you name it - we want that money spent on the kids. Strictly for the kids and the kids program," Johnson said.

Police and the board have different ideas of what moving forward looks like. The board is seeking to branch out for support beyond local police, while Flint police have recently expanded their program by opening a new league on the south side of the city.

"Our plan, if we have a Flint police officer here instead of here five days, if they can get here one day then maybe we can get the county to come in for one day and the township to come in for one day. And U of M Flint to come in for one day. All these agencies that these kids are going to come in contact with, then we can move forward," Townsend said.

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