During its annual training conference serving chapter members and law enforcement, the California Police Activities League (PAL) will honor Oxnard Mayor John C. Zaragoza being named “Mayor of the Year” and other Oxnard city staff at its 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, at the Pacific View Tower in Oxnard.
Mayor Zaragoza will be recognized for his tremendous support for California PAL’s Youth Apprenticeship Readiness Accelerator (YARA) workforce development program in partnership with the LiUNA Laborers Local 585.
Additional award recipients include: Senator of the Year: Monique Limón,19th Senate District; Officer of the Year: Kevin Thompson (Oxnard Police Department), Peace Officer; Collaborator of the Year: Anthony Mireles, LiUNA Laborers Local 585; Volunteer of the Year: Berge Mooradian; Innovators of the Year: Lt. Curtis Eller, Sgt. James Lofton and Erin McLaughlin; and California PAL Board Member of the Year: Terrel Harrison (Oxnard Cultural and Community Services).
“I’m honored to be recognized as ‘Mayor of the Year’ by an organization that does such a tremendous job building bonds between our youth and local law enforcement. I personally know many Oxnard PAL children who have grown up and now have successful careers in Ventura County, and they pay it forward by contributing to the PAL program today,” said Mayor John C. Zaragoza. “I’d also like to congratulate all of the other award recipients and celebrate their important contributions to our local communities.”
Since 1971, the California PAL has worked to foster positive relationships and build bonds between youth and law enforcement to create safe and healthy communities. Over the past 50 years, California PAL, along with more than 80 member chapters statewide, has served over 500,000 marginalized youth and thousands of officers.
Oxnard’s local PAL chapter provides an array of youth activities, including a world-renowned boxing program, youth leadership and mentoring through its Youth Directors Council (YDC), and a variety of youth sports and other after school programming. For years Oxnard’s PAL boxing program has placed the City in the spotlight by hosting statewide, national and international boxing tournaments, and producing amateur and professional boxing champions including Mikey Garcia, Brandon Rios, Victor Ortiz and David Rodela.
Oxnard PAL’s YDC program has produced graduates of Georgetown, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, and USC, among other top universities. Former Oxnard PAL participants are employed by the City Attorney’s Office, Police Department, Recreation Department and many local businesses.
Terrel Harrison, Oxnard’s Director of Cultural and Community Services and recipient of the California PAL Board member of the Year award, stated, “I’m truly honored to have been part of the California PAL board of directors for the past 20 years. California PAL has helped support Oxnard PAL’s mission to unite the bond between law enforcement, youth and the community.”