A crowd lined 1st Street in front of the Alhambra Police Department, watching closely as two Alhambra Police Department SUVs, sirens blaring and lights flashing, were side by side, having just pulled over a white four-door Honda.
Officers slowly opened the driver and passenger side doors with guns drawn, and using the doors as a shield, pointed their firearms towards the Honda.
“Driver! Put your hands above your head,” shouted one officer. “Back up slowly towards the sound of my voice! Move slowly to your right. Stop!”
Two officers walk towards the man.
One officer provided cover while the other slapped on handcuffs.
The crowd applauds.
What the spectators just witnessed was a demonstration of a high-risk car stop, one of the highlights of Alhambra PD’s National Night Out festivities, held Aug.6 in front of the Alhambra Police Department.
Always held on the first Tuesday in August, National Night Out events are staged by law enforcement agencies around the country as a way to strengthen partnerships between the police and the community.
Festivities included demonstrations and displays, tours of the police department, information booths and free food.
“Community engagement is one of our biggest priorities,” said Sgt. Ruben Soriano, one of the main organizers for National Night Out. “We try to be as transparent as possible as far as letting our community know how we operate.”
A pair of police motorcycles on display in front of a mobile command center were the most popular props for photo ops as children, and even a few adults, straddled the saddle of the motorcycle to pose for cellphone pictures.
“They love getting on it,” Motor Sergeant Rodney Castillo said. “They have a smile on their face. They just love it.”
An event that began in 1984 as a community-building and crime prevention initiative, National Night Out events now take place in thousands of communities in all 50 states.
“Mainly when people call us, it’s usually because something bad is going on,” Castillo said. “This is, come out and meet us because something good is going on.”
You can watch the 2019 Alhambra National Night out against Crime video here: