Police Officer Joseph Ellerby is the Center Director at the Ford PAL Center. Officer Ellerby was appointed to the Philadelphia Police Department on October 29, 1990, and was assigned to the PAL Police Unit in October 1994. Ellerby lives in West Philadelphia and has two children, Jodell and Vera. Outside of PAL, Ellerby enjoys body training and cooking.
How did you first learn about PAL?
I learned about the Police Athletic League through people in the community of West Philadelphia.
What made you want to be a part of the PAL unit?
Helping to build and develop our youth was a driving force behind me joining PAL.
History with the Police Athletic League?
I was transferred to the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia in 1994 and I led the Rhodes PAL center in West Philadelphia. I served the Rhodes PAL community for 6 years, until I moved to the Ford PAL Center in South Philadelphia at 6th and Snyder, where I’ve been since 2000.
Why do you think proactive community policing measures like PAL are so important?
Kids are our future. Assisting them and helping them stay on the right track to be the best they can be is very important to me. I want to give them an extra hand in staying on track. I want to instill in them the values my parents instilled in me.
What is one thing you want every child to know?
Every child has the ability to be something great in this world through hard work, dedication, and honesty.
What kind of impact do you want to have on a child’s life?
I want these kids to stay positive, and I want to play an important role in their lives to help them stay positive.
Did you have a mentor who made an impact on you? Tell us about it.
My parents were my mentors. They instilled character in me. They forced me to be honest, have strong integrity, and to never be selfish. They taught me to always give a helping hand if I could, and that has allowed me to give and receive many blessings in my life.
What programs do you offer at your center? What programs are unique to your center?
At Ford PAL, we offer programs such as Computer Club, Homework Club, Boys to Men Mentoring, Positive Images Girls Mentoring, multiple athletic programs, including basketball, baseball, and flag-football, and a special “Stop the Violence Basketball League.”
Favorite activity at PAL?
I have two favorite PAL activities. I enjoy the Boys to Men Mentoring Program and the Citywide Basketball League.
Other information that might be of interest to PAL website visitors:
It’s easy to put the cuffs on someone but it’s hard to reach the heart and mind of a child and teach them.