Chief Art Acevedo brings back Greater Houston Police Activities League to connect with kids

HOUSTON - Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo announced the return of the Greater Houston Police Activities League (GHPAL) at a field day in the Greenspoint area Wednesday morning.

"The police activities league that's been dormant, it's been dead in Houston since 2004, is back," Acevedo exclaimed.

The program connects cops with kids through youth engagement strategies, including athletics, character development, homework assistance and more.

GHPAL's mission is to reduce juvenile crime and violence by using "relational policing." It's a method based on building trusting relationships between youth, law enforcement and the community.

"We're going to have a Police Activities League officer in every division in this city," Acevedo said. "Familiarity breeds trust. These are opportunities for kids to see us in a very neutral environment, in a very fun environment and in an environment where they see police as their friends, as their mentors."

Acevedo implemented a similar program when he was Austin's police chief in 2007.