Police Athletics for Community Engagement (P.A.C.E. Omaha)
Marrs Middle School, Norris Middle School
Omaha Police Department
Project Focus Areas
Making positive life choices, gang prevention, physical development, core values based on R.E.S.P.E.C.T.–reliability, enthusiasm, sportsmanship, positive attitude, importance of education, commitment and teamwork
The mission of Police Athletics for Community Engagement (PACE) is to promote police community relations through athletics. Middle school youth participated two days per week in Afterschool Soccer Clubs which included field trips to Campos Soccer Complex where students could display the talents and skills they learned in a friendly soccer match. The club activities included talks from police officers and an Omaha Police gang specialist as part of an 8-week curriculum. Talks were designed to reinforce the message of making positive life choices for self-betterment and promoted positive relationships with other students, instructors, guest speakers and police officers. Through these clubs the youth interacted with police officers as their coaches and role models. The officers that work the areas where the schools are geographically located developed relationships with the youth through their interactions during the clinics. Many of the youth brought the message home to their parents and guardians about what PACE also had to offer during the summer months, and youth were encouraged to sign up for the free summer athletics programs.