Waterbury Police Activity League lends a helping hand

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WATERBURY - Waterbury teens and the city's police department have teamed up to help dig out the elderly and disabled after the State's most recent storm.

The Police Activity League or PAL started with the home of 89-year-old Lola Massarelli, Monday.

"I have an appointment tomorrow to see my surgeon and I was worried I wouldn't get out," Massarelli said.

The shoveling program is funded by a political action committee that had extra money in it, Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary said. He said he is giving roughly $5,000 to the program to pay the teenage participants.

"And they can make a few dollars. We're going to pay them minimum wage," O'Leary said.

City 12th grader, Brandon Rodriguez, 18, said he is involved with PAL to help his community and to learn more about law enforcement.

"I want to be a cop when I get older so, hopefully I can be involved someday soon," Rodriguez said.

PAL President Deputy Chief Fernando Spagnolo said the impact of the program goes far beyond shoveling snow.

"We service over 4300 kids in this Waterbury area throughout the year. I think it gives them a sense of pride and commitment and teaches them a little bit about giving back to the community," Spagnolo said.

Lola Massarelli was very happy with the results at her home.

"It's wonderful, I mean, God answered my prayers," she said.

Residents who are interested in getting their home shoveled out by PAL can contact the City's Citizens Service Center or call 3-1-1.