Twentynine Palms -- Combat Center service members and families gathered at Heritage Park for the Night Out Against Crime, hosted by the Provost Marshal’s Office, Oct. 4, 2016.
During the event, Combat Center military police officers and firefighters as well as civilian law enforcement officers from the surrounding communities interacted with residents drawn to static displays of fire engines, all-terrain vehicles and other equipment used by the different offices.
“This event allows the community to ask questions they may feel they can’t do at any other time,” said Master Sgt. Jeremy Gohl, services chief, PMO. “All of these different groups came out here to help close the gaps between the community and the people that protect them.”
The Combat Center’s Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Substance Abuse Prevention and Response and Family Advocacy Program also proveded informational booths and displays. The California Highway Patrol and the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department also set up vehicle equipment displays for the community.
“This is a national event that was started to help make the communities feel more comfortable with their local law enforcement,” said Agent Nataly Calderon, Criminal Investigation Division, PMO. “When the people feel more comfortable with the police they are more likely to call in crimes. We can prevent crime with the help of the community. This is one of the best ways of achieving that goal.”
Combat Center military working dog handlers held a demonstration highlighting the effectiveness of their canines, and PMO’s special reaction team displayed their weapons and equipment such as shields, body armor and a battering ram, used for emergencies aboard the installation.
“We use this as a time to reach out to all the people that believe it is hard to approach us,” Calderon said. “Since this event started in 1984 in Boston, now there are hundreds of communities that participate, and with more people participating it makes every community just that much safer. There can only be so many officers, but the community can help make an impact on crime.”