University of Pennsylvania Police Officer Cassandra Parks-Devaughn is one of the Center Directors at the Tucker PAL Center located within the University of Pennsylvania Community. She was appointed to the Penn Police Department in 1997 and has been with PAL for more than 10 years. Officer Parks-Devaughn lives in West Philadelphia, and is married with two children. She says she doesn’t have spare time, she stays busy – she has many interests and she lives by the motto “never say never.”
How did you first learn about PAL?
I learned about PAL after becoming a part of the University of Pennsylvania Police Department.
What made you want to be a part of the PAL Unit?
I became a part of PAL because I want to support youth and share resources with the young community.
History with the Police Athletic League?
I was a Center Director at the Tucker PAL Center for years. I also spent some time at the Cobbs Creek PAL Center while we searched for a new location for Tucker PAL. Since the new Tucker PAL Center opened in September 2016, I have been there serving youth in that neighborhood once again.
Why do you think proactive community policing measures like PAL are so important?
Proactive community policing is so vitally important in our neighborhoods because it allows police officers to build relationships with youth and introduces them to resources and different avenues to explore in their lives.
What is one thing you want every child to know?
I want children to know they are special and that each of them has a gift. It’s up to them to discover what their gifts are. Do not put limitations on your life. Experience what God put forth for you and share.
What kind of impact do you want to have in a child’s life?
I want to have a positive and memorable impact on the lives of each of the children I work with.
Did you have a mentor who made an impact on you? Tell us about it.
My family served as my mentors. I come from a close, positive family.
What programs do you offer at your center? What programs are unique to your center?
We offer the standard PAL programs at Tucker PAL, however, we also offer both cheer and dance programs. These programs allow us to mentor Tucker PAL’s young ladies while introducing them to physical activity and teaching them to work well with others.
Favorite activity at PAL?
My favorite activity is anything that puts a smile on the faces of the PAL youth. I enjoy seeing others enjoying themselves!