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Pleasantville police officer’s quest to help youth begins with basketball tournament Saturday

As a Pleasantville police officer, Miracle Mays noticed a lot of the calls involved juveniles.
“So, I started talking to them and (realized) a lot of the time they spend is wasted,” said the U.S. Air Force sergeant.
Most had no knowledge of the programs available to them, so Mays is making it his goal to help that.
He recently started the nonprofit Atlantic County Empowerment Programs.
The first event is a 3-on-3 tournament at the Pleasantville PAL. The event will run from noon to 5 p.m., with prizes, trophies, food and music.
It costs $25 per team for junior players ages 8 to 14, and $50 per varsity team for those 14 and older. Attendance is free for spectators.
Mays’ short-term goal is to begin a junior boot camp by summer 2018, which he says will work toward “waking up the young kids in our area and pushing them physically and mentally for greater success.”
Long-term, he would like it to act as a referral program for youth on the borderline of entering the criminal system.
“By completing this program, youth will have a chance to start over and get placed on a better path,” he said.
The Atlantic County Coalition for a Safe Community, headed by Perry Mays, along with Mayor Jesse Tweedle, City Administrator Linda Peyton and Police Chief Sean Riggin have all been supportive and offered advice, Mays said.

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