Police Athletic League of Philadelphia



Officer Phyllis Young is one of our Cozen PAL Center Directors. Phyllis was appointed to the Philadelphia Police Department in 1990. She transferred to the PAL Police unit in 1999. Officer Young has a son who was a PAL kid, an All-American in college, and a pro basketball player in Germany. Phyllis has a wide range of interests, and, in her free time, she enjoys traveling, sports, and shooting pool. She also serves as an amateur boxing official.

How did you first learn about PAL?
I started going to the Logan PAL Center, which is still open today, with my old brother in the late 70’s. I eventually started going on my own in the 80’s under Officer Mel Kilgore – a true role model in our community.

What made you want to be a part of the PAL unit?
I wanted to become a part of PAL because I love coaching youth sports and helping children.

History with the Police Athletic League?
When I first got to PAL, I was assigned to a new center, S.E.A.S. PAL, which we were just opening up at the time. I’ve also spent time at many other centers – Tucker PAL, Ford PAL, Point Breeze PAL (which I also opened) to name a few. I was back at S.E.A.S. PAL for another brief stint in that community before I went to Lenfest PAL. Then I opened the Lighthouse PAL Center with Officer Cruz. Now, I’ve been at the Cozen PAL Center for a number of years.

Why do you think proactive community policing measures like PAL are so important?
PAL is important because of the state of our nation today, and its role in changing how police officers are perceived overall. Working with the community gives police officers an opportunity to show our human side, and to have positive interactions within the community. Through PAL, we have a unique opportunity to touch the pulse of the community and its youth. We teach team building skills, coping skills, and give them hope and belief for their future. I believe police officers need the community just as much as they need us.

What is one thing you want every child to know?
You can be anything you want to be…. You just have to believe.

What kind of impact do you want to have on a child’s life?”
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou.  I always want my PAL kids to feel unstoppable!

Did you have a mentor who made an impact on you? Tell us about it.
My Father has been my mentor since the day I was born. He taught me to be the best that I can be in all that I do.

What programs do you offer at your center? What programs are unique to your center?
We offer all of the standard PAL educational and athletic programs. We also offer all-girls basketball leagues, which I am very proud to be a part of.

Favorite activity at PAL?
Citywide sports.


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