Controversy over Flint's Police Activities League continues - WNEM TV 5

Controversy over Flint's Police Activities League continues

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

The fate of a local community organization has been a bit of a roller coaster in recent months.

The future of the Flint Police Activities League remains in question once again.

The Flint City Council voted on Thursday to override a veto from the mayor on the new two-year budget, which included a cut in funding for the league.

Children are at the center of an ongoing feud between the Flint Police Department and its longstanding youth activities league known as PAL.

A group of city council members are accusing Flint Mayor Karen Weaver of hurting Flint children.

"And set them on the curb like a bag of garbage," Councilwoman Jacqueline Poplar said.

Those complaints came after Weaver vetoed a budget item that would have sent nearly $80,000 to PAL. The city council moved to override her veto.

Weaver is now accusing council members of playing politics.

"They're lies and we're tired of the lies. We are totally in support of PAL and we have a program that we are supporting," Weaver said.

The city severed ties with the longstanding program based out of the Haskell Community Center on the city's north side.

Police Chief Timothy Johnson has accused the program of using money for salaries. Now the city is transporting some of the same children to a new PAL unit.

"The first word in PAL stands for police. And if the police are not in it, you don't have a PAL unit. That other unit does not have the police involved in it," Johnson said.

The people in charge at the PAL on the north side said they're committed to keeping the facility open despite the fact the police department created another activities league on the other side of town.

"There are no open schools over there. There are no grocery stores over there. There is nowhere for these kids to go except abandoned houses, liquor stores and going into corners and places that they don't belong," said Trachelle Young, PAL executive director.

Young said the north end facility provides a safe haven for local children so she is grateful for council members who are putting up a fight on its behalf. The status of the city's support is still at question.

"I wanted the funds to stay where they were. So we'll see what happens next," Weaver said.

The budget proposal will go before the state's Receivership Transition Advisory Board. It will go into effect July 1 if it's approved.

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