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The Hollister Police Department will offer $5,000 to the San Benito County Police Activities League to offer additional programs and services to local youth, after the city council on Tuesday unanimously approved the expenditure.

While the local, nonprofit PAL has been in existence for several years, it primarily offers mentoring and off-road training programs. Police Chief David Westrick said in a report to the council that the department hopes that the funding will help foster an “active partnership” with the charitable organization and that “more programs can be offered to our community’s youth.”

He said programs could include partnering with the Hollister Recreation Department on youth sports and other activities and bringing programs such as the Junior Giants baseball program to San Benito County. 

“The added benefit of a more robust PAL in the city of Hollister would serve as yet another avenue for intervention and possibly prevention in our at-risk youth population,” Westrick said in the report.

Hollister resident Marty Richman said that while growing up in New York City, he saw PAL programs “break down the barriers between the authority figures and the kids.”