Harrisburg's Police Athletic League is missing the "police" after the department restructured units last month.
Volunteers tell abc27 News the city's PAL program will be in a struggle to continue with the recent shift.
The program aimed at repairing lives for inner-city youth may be broken. Parents contacted abc27 with concern Harrisburg's PAL program was shut down.
Because of police policy, PAL President Officer Jennie Jenkins was unavailable for comment. Volunteers involved with PAL did tell abc27 the recent restructuring of the police department handcuffed officers' involvement with the program.
Louise Roman contacted PAL on Tuesday in need of an officer, but was told an officer was not readily available. Instead, a volunteer helped Roman and her two sons, Jeremiah and Josh. However, Roman was not happy to hear the program may be in jeopardy.
"You said you want good kids and a clean street? Keep taking programs like this ... it's going to bring sure violence," the upset mother said.
Allen Smith, a non-profit strategist, explained the program is not expected to be shut down because of its NPO status. Smith did say the program works better with officer involvement.
"It's just a lot of logistics that we're going to have to work out to make sure the youth of the city remains the focus of what we're doing," he said.
In September, abc27 reported Mayor Linda Thompson announced a reorganization of the police department. The city planned to restructure "specialty units" and put them on street patrol. Police Chief Tom Carter said during the Sept. 11 news conference that 11 the department must do more with a depleted force.
"We realize, ya know ... the mayor realized that we can no longer have specialty units because of our needs," Carter said.
According to abc27 records, Thompson initially brought back the PAL program in January 2012. At that time, she touted the resurgence of the program and its need.
"It's just an added value on what we're trying to do here," Thompson said.
The mayor has stressed the need for kids to be more involved in community projects, which is PAL's sole purpose at its core.
While walking by a camera crew, Corday Willis began talking about the rumor PAL was shut down. The high school freshman explained he would be worse off without the program.
"PAL was somewhere kids can go to turn their lives around," he said.
While Smith was adamant the actual program would not close, it turns out future events like the Fall Harvest Fest fundraiser on October 26 may be canceled. Volunteers also stressed the new PAL multi-complex project at Cameron Street and Herr Street may be in danger of falling apart without police involvement.
Smith said officers are not banned from PAL, but their new schedules will make it more difficult to volunteer their time.
Roman said she understands the importance of keeping the public safe, but would like to see an emphasis put on city kids so others can get help like her sons.
"Linda Thompson, you say you're about our children. This is taking away from our children," she said. "It is much needed. It really, really is."
Calls to the mayor's office were not returned before this article was posted.