Interface of public security agencies with the community for a national evening
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By Shawn Raymundo
Dozens of families and their children came to Max Berg Park on Tuesday August 3 for an evening of games, activities and an opportunity to interact with local public safety officers and personnel at an event National Night Out.
Held on the first Tuesday in August, National Night Out is billed as a community building campaign in which first responders and public safety agencies such as the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the Fire Authority of Orange County can interact with residents face to face.
âWhether it’s maritime safety, police, firefighters, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)â¦ these are all the providers of public safety within the community,â said the city ââmanager Erik Sund. âThis is a purely educational event, bringing (residents) to inform them of the services provided. “
The annual event, Sund continued, is important for everyone to see that officers and firefighters are “considered friends of the community and that they are there to protect and serve the community.”
âToday’s events are really about the kids, going out here, having a good time, getting to know our public safety first responders,â said Sund.
At the park, a row of educational kiosks hosted by the various public security departments were set up for residents to ask questions and learn about the roles and duties of respective agencies in the community.
And for the kids, they got to enjoy a bouncy house, games and other activities, like sitting with a shotgun inside an OCSD team vehicle. They also received funny handouts from the agencies, including fire helmets from the OCFA.
âIt was exciting for us to go out and bring helmets and stickers and see the kids again and be in the community and share a little bit of what we’re doing,â said the division chief of the OCFA, Rob Capobianco.
Reflecting on the community-building aspect of the night, Capobianco noted that OCFA is a large agency within a large county, so it is important for the department to maintain relationships with smaller towns.
âOrange County is a big metropolitan area, but that small town relationship and the knowledge of your firefighters, your police, I think we can still make it happen, and events like this help us make it happen. “, did he declare.
Shawn Raymundo is the city editor for the San Clemente Times. He graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in Global Studies. Prior to joining Picket Fence Media, he worked as a government accountability reporter for the Pacific Daily News in the US territory of Guam. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnzyTsunami and follow San Clemente Times @SCTimesNews.
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