The La Habra Police Department celebrated National Night Out on Tuesday with a community gathering replete with food, fun and informative officers explaining their essential roles.
The free event, which took place at Portola Park, also featured line dancing, midway games, a petting zoo, demonstrations of the department’s K9 unit, free admission to the nearby Children’s Museum of La Habra, and a screening of Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon.”
Newly appointed Chief of Police Adam Foster, who has helmed the department since July 3 and has been with the La Habra Police Department since 2009, made a few remarks at the outset of the event.
“This is an opportunity for us to show you what we do in our community, our caring community,” Foster said to the crowd, which numbered around 150.
In addition to police personnel, City of La Habra personnel hosted informational booths, as did the area Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Police Explorers also worked the event, doing tasks like making snow cones.
The goal of the annual National Night Out, which takes place across America and has been happening in La Habra since 2015, is to encourage collaboration between police and their community partners, as well as for residents to learn more about police tactics and crime-fighting techniques.
Congresswoman Young Kim, County Supervisor Doug Chaffee and La Habra council members were in attendance. Chaffee presented Foster and the department with a certificate of recognition.
Kim commented how police, working through difficult conditions and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, need as much community support as ever.
“We want you to know we have your backs,” she said.
Officer Kyle Ferris, a department veteran of four years, manned the table that showed off the North County SWAT equipment and armored vehicle. He commented on how people get excited to see the equipment, such as the ballistic shield, 40mm launcher, and break and rake (which helps smash open windows).
Ferris laughed when saying that video games make some people already familiar with the SWAT tools of the trade.
“People will come up to me and say, ‘Oh, I’ve seen that,’” Ferris said. “They’ve used them in games.”
Brittany Klingfus and her son Logan, who’s 1 and a half, were enjoying the diversity of the petting zoo, which included roosters, a mini cow, a pig, a llama and lambs. Even though they live in Diamond Bar, they wanted to support Officer Camille Klingfus, Brittany’s sister-in-law.
“I think the police department is great for the community. We appreciate everything you guys do,” Brittany said.
Officer Klingfus, who smiled while watching Logan interact with the animals, has been with the La Habra Police Department about two years. She’s a patrol officer.
“It’s very family-oriented police department,” she said of her colleagues. “They make you feel like family. They make it feel like home.”