AUBURN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- When the Auburn Police Department realized a neighborhood that makes up one percent of city space accounted for 25 percent of all police calls, they knew they had to do something.
After two years of planning and construction, the police department opened its Police Activities League, or PAL, youth center in Auburn.
The after-school center on Chesnut Street will offer tutoring, games, snacks, and other activities for fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students.
"We knew this was a neighborhood we needed to be in, and when we did some needs assessment we realized there wasn't a lot here for kids," said Auburn Police Chief Phil Crowell.
Chief Crowell said 28 percent of the neighborhood's children are victims of crimes, and 23 percent of the children have committed crimes.
Whether the children are at-risk, in need of after-school care, or just want a safe place to have fun with friends, Chief Crowell said he hopes it will create positive relationships between children, their families, and law enforcement.
Any person interested in partcipating in the PAL program as a student or volunteer can fill out an application on the Auburn Police Department's website.