ago, the San Mateo Police Activities League had two successful intervention
programs targeting at risk teen boys. Chief Susan Manheimer sought a program her
female officers could support as positive role models for the teen girls in our
This led to the development of the PAL Girls Dance Program.
Having some choreography in her background, Officer Christine Klein was
recruited early on to partner with two other female officers in the program.
Officer Christine willingly and patiently took on the challenge
of working with these at-risk girls. She showed up every day to practice and
slowly but surely the girls began to open up to her.
Christine supported and coached the girls through some major
program transitions and committed herself and her time to making sure that each
girl succeeded on and off the dance floor.
During practice, Officer Christine can be found in the back of
the room dancing alongside the girls, using her college cheer experience to help
some of girls who struggle to learn a move or two. Her positive and attitude and
encouraging words keep the atmosphere fun and engaging. She has earned the
respect of the girls and has become a true role model and confidant.
Christine takes the time to check in with each girl and make sure
that they are succeeding. It is not unusual to find Christine making a home
visit or stopping by the high school to make sure that a youth continues to
attend both school and PAL. Officer Christine makes every effort to make sure
that young ladies know that she cares and is always there for them in for
whatever they may need.
Officer Christine has been able to better understand our teen
girls and the specific problems they face at home or at school and through
dance, offer them a safe outlet to express themselves. She takes the extra time
to work with these young women involved and has become a positive influence on
them. Officer Christine understands that youth need to feel comfortable around
police officers in their community and through PAL. For these reasons Officer
Christine Klein is the PAL Officer of the Year.