The Jacksonville Police Athletic League works to foster relationships with children in some of the roughest neighborhoods in Jacksonville. With violence plaguing Jacksonville’s teenagers, JAXPAL gives the city’s young people a safe outlet to express themselves. The league has programs throughout the year, but when the children are out of school for the summer, they go mobile. Mobile JAXPAL has already visited two neighborhoods this summer, and will visit a third Saturday, July 29th.
Children in the Brentwood community will enjoy time with officers, along with food, games and a 70-foot water obstacle course. This event comes at a time where the Brentwood community is seeing its share of violence. On July 19th, Eldrige Beauford was shot and killed while sitting in his car on Pearl street in Brentwood. JSO believes three or four men walked up to him, opened fire and then took off in a car. They are still looking for the suspects, but neighbors in that community are tight-lipped due to the lack of trust with the police department. That is something Lieutenant Lakesha Burton with JAXPAL wants to change. “We want to help as many children as possible. They need to know they have a friend that they can trust and count on,” said Burton.
In order for children to take part in Saturday’s event, a parent or legal guardian must sign a waiver for children to participate in the obstacle course. The event runs from 11 A.M. until 1 P.M. at the Brentwood Lakes Apartments on Village Center Drive North.