August events designed to make Anaheim safer

The Anaheim Police Department offers residents a number of ways to get involved in the fight against crime.

2013-08-06 AFD Nat Nite Out 161-MThis month, the department hosted and participated in a number of events designed to foster partnerships and keep the community safe, beginning Aug. 6 at the annual National Night Out against crime.

The event included the whiz-bang aspects of policing with crowd-pleasing demonstrations by the K-9, SWAT and Angel helicopter units.

It also featured outstanding examples of the nuts-and-bolts of community policing: officers interacting with citizens and sharing ways they can get involved such as the PACE citizen’s academy, Jr. Cadets and Neighborhood Watch.

Hundreds of residents packed Eucalyptus Park to learn more about police work – and to express support for the men and women who keep Anaheim safe.

“My kids always see police officers in uniforms, so this event is a nice way for them to develop relationships with officers,” said residents Margaret Lloyd.

Two days later, on Aug. 8, several police leaders attended a graduation ceremony for 32 students of the Project Access Hermosa Village Center.

The six-week program taught children about conflict resolution, interpersonal skills and the pitfalls of bullying.

“I make it a point to stress family at these events because that’s where it all starts,” said Interim Police Chief Raul Quezada, who spoke at the graduation. “A strong family at home goes a long way in making our jobs easier.”

Finally, the police department’s inaugural gun “buy back” is scheduled for Aug. 24 at La Palma Park.

The idea: fewer guns on the streets makes Anaheim safer for police and citizens. So far this year, there have been four gun-related gang killings and 13 gun-related assaults.

“Too frequently, people fall victim to gun violence,” says Sgt. Bob Dunn. “Our investigations often reveal the guns used in violent crimes come from burglaries where unsecured guns are the target.”

No identification is required, and no questions will be asked. Just show up on the north side of the park between 8 a.m.-4 p.m. with your unloaded gun or rifle. The police will pay $100 for handguns and $200 for rifles. “Our goal is to collect and dispose of unwanted guns, helping to make safer neighborhoods,” Dunn said.

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