Children climbed inside fire engines, rode their bikes through obstacle courses, talked with police and enjoyed free food and balloons Tuesday while traveling around with their parents to 32 participating organizations, all advocating a good relationship between neighbors and law enforcement at National Night Out held at Philip Marx Central Park.
“I think it's a great opportunity for the people in the community to come out tonight. It's nice to get to know the Tehachapi Police Department, the Kern County Fire Department, Hall Ambulance and others,” said Dorris Depew, representing the Tehachapi Police Foundation.
More than 100 people attended the event. Tehachapi Police Department was present along with the California Highway Patrol, Tehachapi Community Emergency Response Team, Kern County Fire Department, Hall Ambulance, Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley, Tehachapi Unified School District, Family Life Pregnancy Center, and many others.
“It's a great turnout. There are lots of organizations interacting with kids. That’s what it's all about — interacting with the community and being united,” said Police Chief Kent Kroeger.
Parents said they thought it good their children be involved with the community, meet new people and learn about the different organizations.
Resident and parent Sarah Carey brought her family and said, “It’s getting to know the community and getting the kids into positive things.”
Her son Bryson Carey, 4, rode his bike through a series of obstacle courses devoted to bicycle safety, while the Tehachapi Police Explorers directed kids through the course, and gave them new helmets, lights and a certificate signed by Kroeger.
Cycle And Go Bike shop in Tehachapi provided bike tune-ups before kids started, teaching another lesson in safety.
Catherine McCord, community outreach coordinator for the Central California Animal Disaster Team. said, “This is a family event. We want to get our name out to the community and make sure families are tasked for an emergency. We want to encourage them to be responsible for safety to themselves, their families and their pets.”
National Night Out is a yearly event hosted in Tehachapi and in the United States that gives residents the opportunity to meet first responders in a friendly environment and learn about their job, equipment and other information.