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Kayla McGhee, 9, daughter of Gunnery Sgt. Bryan McGhee, engineer equipment chief, Mountain Warfare Training Center, ascends a rock wall at the Felix Field Sports Complex for America’s Night Out Against Crime, August 4, 2015. Bounce houses, a rock climbing wall and a special appearance made by the Drug Abuse Resistance Education’s mascot, Daren the Lion, were some of the festivities offered at the Night Out. (Official Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo/ Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo

PMO, community participate in National Night Out

7 Aug 2015 | Lance Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes positive relationships between the police force such as the Combat Center’s Provost Marshal’s Office and the community in an effort to foster camaraderie and involve neighborhoods in the safety of the community.

This is the Combat Center’s first year participating in the Night Out.

“I feel like it’s important because typically we only interact with the community when an incident happens and we don’t want that to be the first or only time we meet members of the community,” said Gunnery Sgt. Natalie Calderon, criminal investigation command chief, PMO. “We would like them to be able to know who we are and know that we’re working with them to prevent crime.”

The community event included various entities from Marine Corps Community Services, as well as information stands from the Joshua Tree National Park’s Search and Rescue Service, PMO’s Search and Rescue Team, Accident Investigation Division and a K-9 demonstration. There were also bounce houses, a rock climbing wall and a special appearance was made by the Drug Abuse Resistance Education’s mascot, Daren the Lion.

“We hope to make it an annual event and continuously bring the community together to prevent crime and raise awareness,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Gerland, physical security chief, PMO.

Not only does National Night Out enhance the relationship between residents and law enforcement, it provides an opportunity for police and neighbors to come together under positive circumstances.

“I thought it was great event,” said Allison Ortega, military spouse. “Nights like these provide my family and I with an opportunity to interact with the police department and learn something new in a fun way.”

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms