ATASCADERO - The Atascadero Police Department held their second annual "Night Out" celebration and outreach event Aug. 6 with around 15 members of the Department, in and out of uniform, joining with first responders from the Fire Department, local ambulance services and informational booths from the likes of the CHP, PG&E and San Luis Obispo County Parks.
The overall theme for the event was safety education, said Community Service Officer Lauren Purify, who managed to check out the fun and games at several booths while organizing demonstrations and helping demonstrate proper fingerprinting technique at the Crime Scene Investigation table.
Toddlers being one of the few demographics eager to give their fingerprints to the police, the resulting sheets are useful for parents to keep in case of emergencies or just as a keepsake.
Gun safety was a big theme for the event as well with props out for kids to see what a life-size firearm looks like and how to avoid interacting with one they come across in a home or in public. The local group Guns And Ladies (GALs) San Luis Obispo offering, “Shooting Clinics for Women, Taught by Women,” also joined the event this year.
In front of City Hall, firefighters Alex Gentilly and Cody Ferris stayed near their Engine No. 3591 out of Fire Station One, just in case there was a call to action.
Before being joined by their crewmates and opening the engine for show and tell, they noted that it’s been a quiet year in the City, but there is currently seasonal staff on duty and the Department is called on often for what is known as mutual aid with other departments.
At a table for the local Police Explorers Program Coordinator Craig Martineau, himself a graduate before becoming a sworn officer, and Cadet Madi Anderson showed off some of the trophies they won in conjunction with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Explorers in the 2018 competition. There are currently five cadets enrolled with recruits ranging in age from 14-20 years old.
Before wrapping up events at 7 p.m., Police Chief Jarel Haley and Fire Chief Casey Bryson made sure that all raffle prizes were distributed.