Police Officer Kareem Johnson is one of the PAL Center Directors at the Cozen PAL Center. Officer Johnson was appointed to the Philadelphia Police Department in 2003, and was assigned to the Police Athletic League in 2010. In his spare time, Kareem enjoys basketball and traveling.
How did you first learn about PAL?
I attended the Olney PAL Center in my neighborhood as a youth, and PAL did a lot for me growing up. When I became a part of the PAL unit, my PAL officer, Officer Mike Pittman, was still in the unit. He recently retired, after serving thousands of kids and teens throughout his career.
What made you want to be a part of the PAL unit?
Being a part of the PAL unit is a great opportunity for me to give back and offer the same opportunities I had to the children I serve.
History with the Police Athletic League?
I was assigned to the Bluford PAL Center for my first three years in the PAL unit. Now, I’m currently running the Cozen PAL Center.
Why do you think proactive community policing measures like PAL are so important?
With everything going on in today’s society, between the community and the police, I believe PAL helps bridge the gap and shows the public another side of police officers that they never knew existed.
What is one thing you want every child to know?
I want every child to know that he/she can do or be anything they want to be, as long as they apply themselves positively.
Did you have a mentor who made an impact on you? Tell us about it.
My father was and always will be my mentor, because he kept me on the straight, narrow path to becoming the man I am today. He taught me the game of life and how to always be two steps ahead of my peers.
What programs do you offer at your center? What programs are unique to your center?
At the Cozen PAL Center, we offer basketball, flag football, Computer Club, Homework Club, Positive Images, baseball, soccer, chess, and so much more.
Favorite activity at PAL?
By far, the PAL Chess Program.
Other Fun Facts?
My overall goal in PAL is to instill confidence in children and to help mold them into productive citizens down the road.