City Council approves YMCA youth program

Glendale’s YMCA gained final approval from the City Council Tuesday night to run a program for at-risk youth that was on the budget chopping block this summer.

The Police Activities League, operated by Glendale police, has served at-risk youth with after-school activities for about 15 years, but budget cuts at City Hall this year threatened its existence.

“I think it’s a great program for young kids to get busy after school,” said Councilman Rafi Manoukian.

The city had been paying police officers overtime for the administrative and mentoring work, in which 14- to 18-year-old students participated in boxing or equestrian activities with officers. With the YMCA at the helm, those extra costs will be cut and officers will be assigned to mentor during regular shifts.

The Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee had recommended letting the police give $13,788 set aside to run the Police Activities League to the YMCA this fiscal year. In the past, police have received $31,000 in federal money for the program.

The league has been on hold throughout the summer as officials worked out the new partnership.

The YMCA version will offer free boxing, dance and chess activities to between 60 and 100 low-income students with at least a 2.3-grade point average and who have been recommended to join PAL by school or city officials.

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