Sheriff’s Station Hosts ‘Night Out’ for Community

The Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Department invited people over to the station Tuesday for a friendly get-together: Joining police and sheriff’s personnel across the country, the department was celebrating National Night Out.
After being staged at shopping center parking lots the past two years, this time the annual community-building campaign was held at the CV Sheriff’s Station on Briggs Avenue in La Crescenta, where visitors were treated to snacks and offered the opportunity to tour the station.
“We wanted the community to come to us and see what we have to offer,” Sgt. Cynthia Gonzales said. “People can come and ask questions and see what’s going on. We’re trying to get people to come to the sheriff’s station and just see a different side of us.”
Boy Scouts and neighbors were among the community members who visited booths for organizations ranging from local libraries and the YMCA to local water districts and, of course, sheriff’s programs such as the volunteers.
Deputy Eric Matejka stood behind a table containing an assortment of drug paraphernalia that had been seized locally. It has become part of an educational say-no-to-drugs, show-and-tell exhibit.
“Oh, my gosh, it’s frightening,” Diane Swecker said. “I’m glad I turned around; I thought this was an antique booth, but I’m so glad it’s here instead of in the hands of the kids!”
A few booths down, John Heldoorn, a retired Los Angeles firefighter-turned-sheriff’s-volunteer, sat ready to expound on the benefits of the unpaid gig, which for him is mostly social.
“And if I do anything good or if I’m able to help anybody, it’s a bonus,” the La Cañada Flintridge resident said, adding that the door is open for new volunteers: “We always need some new blood.”
Randy and Mary Cruz were among the 15 or so classic car owners who’d parked among the easy-ups next to the station’s new barbecue area. They were there to support the Sheriff’s Department, they said, because the deputies are there to support them.
“They’re the ones who protect us all year,” Mary Cruz said.
“We are all intertwined somehow,” said LCF resident Dan Drugan, a water resources technician for Foothill Municipal Water District. “The theme here is public safety, getting out there, getting involved in the community and showing everyone that we’re here for each other.”

Leave a Reply