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The new Tucker PAL Center at Elwyn opened Friday, September 23. It was marked by a formal grand opening ceremony attended by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, Vice President for Public Safety and Superintendent of Penn Police Maureen S. Rush, M.S., CPP, Elwyn Institute representatives, and Police Athletic League Commanding Officer Lt. Evelyn Cintron and Executive Director Ted Qualli.

PAL Commanding Officer Lt. Evelyn Cintron, called PAL’s return to University City “a special day for the residents of this neighborhood. Beyond the services PAL brings to the children of University City,” Lt. Cintron noted, “it spotlights the important relationships that can be forged between Philadelphia children and the Philadelphia Police.” Cintron continued, “PAL has made a significant impact on this community in the past. The relationships Officer Cassandra Parks-Devaughn has forged with these kids and their parents are a prime example of proactive community policing.”

“We’ve been searching for a new location since 2014,” said Maureen S. Rush, vice president for Public Safety and Superintendent of the Penn Police Department. Tucker PAL Center partners one Philadelphia Police Department Officer from the PAL unit with one from the University of Pennsylvania Police Department. Rush, who also serves as a vice chairperson on the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia’s board of directors, took an active part in finding the new PAL base in University City.

“Ultimately,” she said, “we were put in touch with the Elwyn Institute as a possible location, and after learning about the wonderful work of PAL, Elwyn Institute President Sandy Cornelius invited us to utilize this wonderful space.   It has all of the amenities, including air conditioning,” Rush noted. Beyond its amenities, Rush believes it’s ideally located. “It’s in the pocket of development just North of Market Street and is close to our public safety building on Chestnut Street as well as the University City District. We look forward to continuing our partnership with PAL in supporting the children of West Philadelphia.”

PAL Executive Director Ted Qualli is looking forward to once again making an impact on the community.  “We are excited about returning to University City and once again honoring the memory of former Police Commissioner Kevin Tucker,” said Qualli. “PAL is at its best when the community comes together to support the center. We look forward to working with the University of Pennsylvania and Elwyn to move the needle on reducing crime, building character, and increasing educational outcomes,” noted Qualli. “We anticipate having 200 to 400 kids at this center once it’s up and running,” added Qualli. “We invite University City families to learn more about the PAL program.”

Through PAL, Philadelphia police officers, supported by civilians and volunteers, offers sports, including basketball, soccer, and tennis; educational opportunities, such as chess, mentoring programs, homework and computer clubs; and field trips throughout the year. To learn more about the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia, see www.phillypal.org or call 215-291-9000.

For more information, call the Tucker PAL Center at 215-291-9000, ext. 310 or PAL headquarters, 215-291-9000.

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