By Douglas W. Motley
More than 100 family members from mountaintop communities showed up at the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station on Tuesday, Aug. 3 to celebrate National Night Out, a nationwide community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. According to the National Night Out website, the event takes place every year on the first Tuesday in August between 4 and 7 p.m.
Parents and children wandered through a maze of exhibits at the sheriff’s station sponsored by local law enforcement, fire and fish and wildlife agencies, as well as the San Bernardino Department of Behavioral Health.
Karen Bryant and her husband, who were visiting their second home in Lake Arrowhead, said they had heard about the event from an acquaintance who volunteers for the sheriff’s Reserve Unit.
The station’s Law Enforcement Explorer group served free popcorn, cotton candy, hot dogs and drinks, while parents conversed with law enforcement and fire personnel and children visited information booths where they were given coloring books and official-looking sheriff’s and fire department stick-on badges.
One youngster, 9-year-old Braylee Stephenson, who was creating a colorful chalk rainbow on the concrete in front of the sheriff’s station, said, “It’s really cool to do this and not get in trouble.”
Local Game Warden Luis Garcia from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife was seen discussing job opportunities with young adults interested in a career with the department. Meanwhile, California Highway Patrol Public Affairs Officer Jacob Griede, who is a certified car seat technician, discussed the finer points of properly installing a child’s car seat.
Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station Commander Captain Don Lupear, who hosted the event, discussed local crime issues with parents and gave tours of the station to those who were interested. According to Lupear, “The station’s Law Enforcement Explorer group is a vital resource for the station’s deputies and other staff members. They assist in such things as traffic control at special events, such as the Lake Arrowhead Rotary Club’s annual Art and Wine Festival at Tavern Bay, as well as helping out around the station.”
Captain Lupear added that the station’s Citizens on Patrol (COP), Law Enforcement Explorers and Search and Rescue crew are seeking new members. “Applications are available here at the station.”