Moorhead Police Department Participating In National Program To Reduce Juvenile Crime
they're doing it through the Police Activities and Activities league
MOORHEAD, Minn. — There’s one moment in his career that really sticks out for Scott Kostohryz.
“The first time we had one of our explorers graduate college and get hired by the Moorhead Police Department and put on our uniform. That was a big moment for me to say we’re making an impact,” said Kostohryz, a detective sergeant at the Moorhead Police Department.
The police department’s Explorer Post program allows people who may be interested in law enforcement to work closely with police.
More than a dozen Moorhead police officers have gone through the program.
But now the department is trying another way to get more involved throughout the community, through the PAL program.
“It’s a national program, it’s been around for about 104 years now. It’s more of an east coast program that’s just starting to get its roots in Minnesota,” Kostohryz said.
PAL, or the Police Athletics and Activities League, aims to give kids role models in local law enforcement through different activities during the year.
Minneapolis, Rochester and Duluth are the only other places in Minnesota with the program.
“We believe that by the police working with youth, it will have a positive impact on them. It will drop crime rates and it will help to influence them in the future to be law-abiding,” Kostohryz said.
“Anytime the police have any kind of positive association with youth, I think that sends a lasting message to those kids that police are humans also and that we all just want the best for the community.”
The program has been brought to Moorhead thanks to a grant from Central Minnesota Credit Union.
And police officers say they are grateful because they’re taking the opportunity to really to keep building trust with the people they serve every day.
“Being trusted with making decisions that will impact their lives, that’s a big ask. We want to show that we have their best interests at heart by doing programs like this and we really feel by focusing on the positive instead of just focusing on the negative,” Kostohryz said.
The first PAL event will be a Cops and kids hockey game on Sunday at 8 p.m. at the Moorhead Sports Center.