The Kern County Sheriff’s Activities League (SAL) was created in 2005 to serve as a gang prevention strategy and to prevent juvenile crime and violence by providing civic, athletic, recreational and educational opportunities and programs for at-risk youth. SAL targets youths that may be disadvantaged or considered “at-risk” of becoming involved in criminal activity due to a lower economic base, criminal activity, drug abuse in the family or any number of possible reasons. Kern County Sheriff’s deputies, law enforcement personnel, and community members volunteer as program mentors and coaches to build positive relationships and provide positive role models. SAL gives at-risk and underprivileged youth an alternative to gangs and drugs by providing opportunities for recreational activities, academic tutoring, community service, and organized sports programs. In this model, SAL is perhaps the greatest tool available to fighting youth crime by fostering positive relationships with law enforcement and providing a broader view of life's possibilities.
Bakersfield SAL is operated out of the East Bakersfield Substation (1700 Flower Street Bakersfield, CA 93305). Bakersfield SAL currently has over 400 registered members and welcomes youth from all over metropolitan Bakersfield; however, the majority live in the economically depressed area of East Bakersfield. Many of Bakersfield SAL’s members attend East Bakersfield High School which is located just down the street from the East Bakersfield Substation. Other Bakersfield SAL members attend other nearby junior high/middle schools, including, but not limited to, Compton Junior High School, Walter Stiern Middle School, and Paul L. Cato Middle School.
Bakersfield SAL's staple activities are the free, co-ed boxing program which is offered year around on Tuesday through Friday from 3:30PM to 5:30PM, and Martial Arts every Monday from 3:00PM to 5:00PM. Other Bakersfield SAL activities consist of community service events, field trips, camping, hiking, and fishing. Community service events include feeding the homeless, animal care, making blankets for the needy, neighborhood cleanups, shopping cart retrieval, and free face painting at various community events. All programs and events are free for the kids who participate.