The Bangor Police Department has formally disbanded its athletic league following a string of retirements and staffing challenges.

Bangor City Council voted Monday to accept a $10,000 donation, the last of the Bangor Police Athletic League’s treasury, to rehabilitate public basketball courts, according to a copy of the order.

The Parks and Recreation department currently manages the league building, which is located on Watchmaker Street near Essex Woods, according to police spokesperson Wade Betters.

Police athletic leagues were founded in the 20th century as part of a movement to foster relationships between police officers and local youth by offering recreational opportunities, according to the National Police Athletic Activities League in Jupiter, Florida.

Bangor police founded the organization in 1990 and incorporated it as a nonprofit organization in 2001, according to Bangor Daily News archives and federal financial records.

The organization opened a boxing club on State Street in 1993 with Joe Gamache Sr., a boxing coach and father of Joey Gamache, who won Maine’s only two World Boxing Association championship titles in 1991 and 1992 as a super featherweight and lightweight, respectively.

The club produced several standout boxers, like Daniel Young and Jason Foley, who both won Golden Gloves awards, according to BDN archives.  

The league later moved to its current location near the Bangor dog park in 1999.

The Bangor PAL also offered other activities like ice fishing, Halloween hayrides, foosball tournaments, mountain biking and summer programming.

The league appeared to have petered out some time in the 2010s as the athletic league stopped hosting events, according to past BDN coverage.

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Lia Russell

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk for the Bangor Daily News. Send tips to