It has been more than year since Community Relations Specialists Janeth Jimenez and Edwina Tripp have organized any in person events to connect police officers with residents.
That’s a year without meeting neighbors face-to-face, having coffee at the local shop or getting to chat with local kids about school and sports.
When Tripp and Jimenez received the green light to kick off summer events, they decided to have a little fun and create special pop-up summer events.
“We were excited because it had been so long,” Jimenez said. “We wanted to make sure everyone knew about our first event at the park, so we printed out flyers and handed out flyers door to door for the neighbors on Eureka Street before the event and then the day before. We wanted as many people as possible to know about our first event.”
The official launch of summer events started with a Pan Dulce with a Cop event which brought together police officers, neighbors, and pan dulce for an afternoon of getting reacquainted. Officers Jason White and Dominic Ramirez set up in a grassy area at Owens Intermediate School and shared information with parents on Neighborhood Watch and tips on community safety.
With balmy summer nights in full force, Tripp created the summer-centric program Otter Pops with Cops.
The first event was held on June 17 at a number of parks in Bakersfield where kids were enjoying the splash pads on a summer afternoon. The kids and their parents had a chance to reconnect with School Resource Officers Charles Pratt and Nadine Yeary, who passed out Otter Pops.
“In the next few weeks, we hope to have more ‘popping in’ events at local parks,” Tripp said. “Everyone really enjoyed it.”