Peoria police officers starting children's boxing program

Sep 4, 2017

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Peoria police officers are renting a vacant building and launching a program for young boxers.

Officers Jo-Paul Jones and Adrian Aguilar are partnering with neighborhood services coordinator Jennifer Engelbrecht on the effort. Aguilar says the effort needs $10,000 in fundraising.

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Aguilar says the goal of the Police Athletic League is to start with around 30 children. He says the program will be "more than teaching them to box." He says police want to give children "guidance, encourage them to stay in school and set them up for a better future."

The officers have secured a longtime local boxing trainer to be the program's primary coach. The program is free.  

Jones says eventually the program would like to offer basketball, football, chess and cheerleading.