Philadelphia Police Officer Darryl Johnson is the center director at the Cobbs Creek PAL Center in West Philadelphia. He was appointed to the Philadelphia Police Department in 1997 and has been with PAL since 2002. He and his family live in Philadelphia, and in his spare time he enjoys sports and coaching youth.
How did you first learn about PAL?
I first learned of PAL as a youngster in my own neighborhood. I joined the Rhoads PAL and started playing basketball and ping pong under the direction of one of my mentors, Officer John Knight.
What made you want to be a part of the PAL Unit?
Being both a police officer and a PAL alum, I figured running a PAL center would be a great way to positively assist with youth in my community.
History with the Police Athletic League?
After becoming a part of the PAL Police Unit, I effectively served youth in the Haddington PAL Center until it closed in 2010. Since then, I have been at the Cobbs Creek PAL Center.
Why do you think proactive community policing measures like PAL are so important?
Youth are key. When bridging the gap between police and the community, I strongly believe a perfect starting point is our youth. We need to inspire them.
What kind of impact do you want to have in a child’s life?
I hope it’s a positive one! That’s what I care about!
Did you have a mentor who made an impact on you? Tell us about it.
I have had a numerous mentors in my short life. I am sure I would leave one out if I attempted to name them all. I just hope I’m a positive mentor/role model to the children I work with.
What programs do you offer at your center?
The Cobbs Creek PAL Center offers all of the programs that the Police Athletic League has to offer!
Favorite activity at PAL?
My favorite activities at PAL, I would have to say, are citywide sports!