JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Jackson Police Department (JPD) held their 2nd Annual PALs banquet to honor the youth in the Police Athletic League Program on Monday.

The Police Athletic League Program began in 2006 in an attempt to allow police officers to become mentors and coaches to children of the Jackson community.

While basketball made up the program, it’s bigger than the game and teaches life skills, overcoming adversity, and building character.

Officer Alfred Cooper said it’s important to highlight the youth. He said there’s a lot of good kids out there, but they don’t get the positive accolades that they deserve.

Jackson police said they will continue to host these types of programs in order to remain active in the community.