Officer Jackie Little is a center director at the Wynnefield PAL Center. Officer Little began her career with the Philadelphia Police Department in 1989. She was assigned to the PAL Police Unit in 2004. The mother of four has a large family, consisting of eight grandchildren and two great-grand children. In her spare time, she enjoys shopping, arts and crafts, reading, and relying on God to lead her life.
What made you want to be a part of the PAL Unit?
I have always served youth in my neighborhood, and as a patrol officer. I was notified there was an opening at the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia, and I jumped at the chance to transfer.
History with the Police Athletic League?
My first assignment with PAL was the Point Breeze PAL Center located at 1599 Wharton Street. I spent 10 of my 13 years in the Point Breeze community. Sadly, Point Breeze PAL is no more, but I built relationships with children, parents, clergy, and teachers, many of whom keep in touch with me. I have been at a few other PAL centers, but, my most recent assignment is Wynnefield PAL. I have PAL kids from Point Breeze who followed me and are now enrolled at Wynnefield!
Why do you think proactive community policing measures like PAL are so important?
I believe programs like PAL offer youth and family members alternative opportunities that deter them from participating in crime.
What is one thing you want every child to know?
Make wise choices, for every decision that you make is significant.
What kind of impact do you want to have on a child’s life?
I would like to continue offering programs that are educational, fun, multi-cultural, and community focused to my current and future youth who attend and will attend the Wynnefield PAL Center.
Did you have a mentor who made an impact on you? Tell us about it.
Susan Slawson, former PAL Commanding Officer, is my mentor, and has been for many years. She has helped me with my leadership qualities, decision making, and my inner-personal relationships with people. She is definitely my go to person.
What programs do you offer at your center? What programs are unique to your center?
So many! Computer Club, Homework Club, Flag Football, Basketball, Foosball, Boys 2 Men, Positive Images, Tutors from St. Joe’s University, 100 Book Reading Club, Dance Program, Tennis, Baseball, Chess Club. Uniqueness: I have one of the largest positive Image Programs in PAL.
Favorite activity at PAL?
The Positive Images Program!