University of Pennsylvania’s PAL Police Officer Cassandra Parks-DeVaughn to Retire
The Police Athletic League of Philadelphia (PAL) has partnered with the University of Pennsylvania Police for many years to support the local community, most recently working together to welcome youths to the Tucker PAL center located in the 4000 block of Ludlow Street. Penn Police provides a dedicated officer, Cassandra Parks-DeVaughn, to manage the center. For over 18 years, Officer Parks-DeVaughn has worked with PAL participants to encourage, support, and guide their development.
Officer Parks-DeVaughn describes her early years at PAL as an exciting yet challenging time. “It took some time for the youths to warm up and trust a police officer. It took commitment, showing dependability, being open minded, patient and truly caring,” Parks-DeVaughn said. “Once they realized I really care, the center became a family.”
Officer Parks-DeVaughn has initiated and managed many enrichment programs at Tucker PAL. She assisted in creating the Positive Attitude Ladies program which Officer Parks-DeVaughn describes as, “a young ladies’ sisterhood where one shares life experience and gains resources to live in a positive world.” She founded the Positive Image Pageant, which consists of various components such as talent, interviews, dance routine, expression through art, and formal wear provided by PAL and Penn’s Division of Public Safety. The Healthy Eats program teaches participants how to make good nutritional choices and cooking skills. Additional programs offered at the center include SAT Prep, Summer Golf Program and art classes.
Officer Parks-DeVaughn may be best known for managing a fun and impactful Cheer Program. The PA Competition Cheer/Dance Team performs at numerous PAL events and competes in Cheer/Dance competitions within the city and surrounding area. The participants are also nurtured academically, through homework assistance, tutoring, and computer programs to make sure they have resources to achieve success.
“We are proud to support and partner with Philly PAL,” stated Maureen S. Rush, M.S., CPP, Vice President for Public Safety and Superintendent of Penn Police. “The Tucker PAL center has thrived under the direction of Penn Police Officer Cassandra Parks-DeVaughn. She is a great example of our mission to support the community and youth of Philadelphia. My thanks to Cassandra for her years of dedication, warm wishes for a happy and healthy future.”