When Tustin’s K-9 is chasing a suspect or the SWAT team is called out to respond to a high-risk situation the public usually doesn’t have a front-row seat.
But on Saturday, June 13, thousands from the community were in on the action.
Tustin Police held its 19th annual Open House for the community to give residents an inside look at what the department does daily to keep the community safe.
Officer Rene Barraza and his K-9 partner Bravo was a crowd favorite as he bounded after a Tustin Police Officer playing a suspect.
Children were invited to test out some police equipment, including feeling the weight of a SWAT vest, sitting on a police motorcycle, and an interactive bicycle safety course. Face painting and a treasure hunt were also a hit with the younger attendees.
Police held several demonstrations, including SWAT, Motorcycle Officers and K-9 Officers to showcase their skills and explain to the public how and when they might use them.
Families were even taken on a tour of the department to see everything from where 911 calls come in, to where detectives pore over their cases.
Throughout the day, guests were not only entertained with exciting demonstrations and insightful information, but their appetites were also treated to hot dogs cooked by Police Department staff.
“I am very proud of the men and women of the Tustin Police Department, but I am also very appreciative of the support from the community,” said Police Chief Charles Celano. “I look forward to events like our Open House as a chance see our department and community come together for a very enjoyable day.”
Celano added several agencies and groups that often partner with Tustin also participated in the event to educate the community on the collaborative work that goes in to policing the city.
The Orange County Fire Authority, Irvine Police Department, California Highway Patrol and Department of Fish and Wildlife, were among the agencies represented.
And although the Open House is an opportunity for the public to go behind-the-scenes and learn about what police do every day, Celano said this event is just as important for police employees.
“It is a wonderful opportunity for us to interact with the community on a less formal level,” he said. “The interactions with the community are what makes Tustin PD so successful.”