STAR/PAL Program Overview

STAR/PAL (Sports Training, Academics, Recreation/Police Athletic League) is a nonprofit organization that provides over 10,000 youth services annually in inner-city neighborhoods throughout the city and county of San Diego. STAR/PAL offers free educational, athletic, and recreational programs which focus on promoting youth safety, positive life choices, and academic success. STAR/PAL program directors are officers from the San Diego Police & County Probation Departments. These dedicated officers coordinate unique programs for underserved youth, with the assistance of additional law enforcement and community volunteers. By bringing youth and law enforcement officers together in this manner, STAR/PAL helps build safer communities in the future.

STAR/PAL Mission Statement

The mission of STAR/PAL is to empower underserved youth to build a safer and more prosperous community by engaging with law enforcement and collaborative partners.


  • Promote youth safety through crime & violence prevention education
  • Cultivate youth empowerment through civic engagement & enrichment activities
  • Offer youth programming in underserved communities

STAR/PAL History

Initially two separate entities, the San Diego PAL Chapter was founded in 1988 and primarily served county areas whereas the STAR organization came into existence in 1993 to focus its programmatic efforts within city boundaries. The two organizations merged in April of 1998, representing the alignment of city, county, and community efforts. The unification of programs, staff, volunteers, and the Board of Directors sought to ensure that all youth in the region have similar opportunities to participate and reap the benefits of youth programming with law enforcement officers, firefighters and community leaders. All STAR/PAL Program Directors are law enforcement officers who educate youth about the dangers of juvenile crime and violence.