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Night Out event honors community protectors

Central Park event part of nationwide celebration

Posted: August 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Macy Hernandez, 11, left, and Brianna Peoples, 10, of Valencia, pet Amber of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's SCV Mounted Posse at the National Night Out.

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Santa Clarita Valley residents said they appreciated the opportunity to interact with first-responders in a relaxed environment at Saturday’s National Night Out event at Central Park in Santa Clarita.

“It’s good for kids to see that these are the good guys,” said Cheryl Bachman, a 59-year-old Saugus resident, referring to the Sheriff’s Department, Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, American Medical Response and search-and-rescue members that attended the Santa Clarita Valley’s observance of the 29th annual National Night Out.

The National Night Out culminates on Tuesday and is a celebration of citizen involvement in crime prevention. About 37 million people in 15,110 communities participated in the event last year.

The purpose of Saturday’s event at Central Park was to show solidarity with the community and encourage people to say something when they witness a crime, said sheriff’s Deputy Joe Trejo.

“A lot of folks might witness a crime and not say anything,” Trejo said. “And criminals take advantage of that.”

“We want to let people know that crime will not be tolerated,” he said.

Representatives from the various law-enforcement agencies handed out information and answered questions at booths next to a concert featuring The Walking Phoenixes, a Johnny Cash tribute band. About 2,000 people attend the concert that was part of the Santa Clarita’s Concerts in the Park series.

Toni Zavala, a 37-year-old Santa Clarita resident, said she liked seeing the equipment on display at the various booths. The Sheriff’s Department’s mounted posse brought a horse, and the search-and-rescue team stood behind a rescue basket mounted on a crane.

“It’s good to show the kids who the officers in the area are,” Zavala said. “It’s nice to know that (first-responders) are active in the community.”

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