San Jose's city auditor released a scathing new report about the Police Activities League, saying the program is being mismanaged and needs immediate changes.
PAL has been run by San Jose police for decades, but the city auditor is now recommending the department hires a professional to run the books and the programs.
PAL serves as an escape for youth in San Jose, a chance for them to stay off the streets and test their athletic skills.
"PAL was the way to go," program alum Luciano Zamora said. "Now you have YMCA and boys club, but for us, it was always PAL."
Zamora and his children all played sports in the PAL program. He said he's saddened to see that the program is in trouble.
In the blistering report, the city auditor listed 23 recommendations and urges the city of San Jose to hire a specially trained executive director, instead of having cops run the program. The report also accuses PAL of failing to complete it’s financial requirements with the city and the IRS.
Police Chief Eddie Garcia said the changes require more funding and more partnerships with corporate and community groups. But he vowed police officers will always be a part of the model.
"I think there’s a lot of support for PAL, so I’m hopeful we can move forward with as many of the recommendations as soon as possible," Garcia said. "Even with the massive cuts to our police department over the last decade, we kept PAL programs going because its more than sports. It's life skills, relationship-building with our community that lasts a lifetime."
One other option that could bring in more funds is selling the naming rights to PAL Stadium.