Anaheim PD personnel, members of community mix it up at back-to-school BBQ

By Lou Ponsi

Kids straddled police motorcycles and got to sit in the cockpit of a high-tech police helicopter.

A stealth K9 dazzled the crowd with his smarts and skills along with his ability to chase down and clamp onto a “bad guy.”

Kids maneuvered on playground equipment.

Burgers and dogs were grilling.

Anaheim PD Deputy Chief Julian Harvey gets a high-five from 6-year-old Ryan Hermann of Anaheim at Anaheim PD’s Back to School Barbecue on Aug. 22.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

The activities were part of the latest of a series of community gatherings hosted by the Anaheim Police Department and Police Chief Raul Quezada’s Neighborhood Advisory Council.

Held Aug. 22 at Canyon Rim Elementary School and the adjoining park, this “back-to-school barbeque” coincided with the first day of school and included dozens of police officers mingling with this community in east Anaheim.

Anaheim PD’s newest helicopter sits on the grass at Canyon Rim Elementary School and Park as guests get to tour it and other areas during APD’s Back to School Barbecue.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

“My favorite thing was petting the (K9s),” said 6-year-old Dylan Steinbeck, a Canyon Rim student.

The Chief’s Neighborhood Advisory Council (CNAC) is made up of residents from each of the city’s 22 neighborhoods.

They meet regularly with the chief and his command staff to discuss ways to reduce crime, improve neighborhoods and strengthen the line of communication between the community and the police.

Anaheim PD volunteers Pamela Holsinger, left, and Laurie Meredith cut up watermelon for guests arriving at Anaheim PD’s Back to School Barbecue.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Similar community barbecues have taken place in other neighborhoods.

“This is about the police department and the community working together,” Quezada said. “The police department and the community are not separate. We work together. That is why we are here tonight.”

Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

The advisory council came up with the idea for neighborhood barbecues as a way of bringing the police and the community together in an informal setting.

Anaheim PD volunteer Marge Herman passes a free hamburger to Cassie Ambrose, 12, of Orange, during Anaheim PD’s Back to School Barbecue at Canyon Rim Elementary School and Park.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

“It’s just about coming together, having a burger and talking with your local police department,” Deputy Chief Julian Harvey said. “There is no agenda. People can just relate on a very neutral level … on a common level.

“A lot of the conflict comes from misunderstanding, so the more you can sit down and relate on a human level, then you’ve bridged gaps.”

One-year-old Holden Clement of Orange is held by his mom, Jenna, as he reaches out to touch the front of an Anaheim Police helicopter during APD’s Back to School Barbecue.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Jenna Clement found out about the barbecue on the Anaheim PD Facebook page.

She came with her husband and their sons Yukon, 3, and Holden, 1.

Anaheim PD Officer Mike Dohmann takes his K9 partner, Torro, out for a demonstration during APD’s Back to School Barbecue.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

“Our 3-year-old is really into policemen and firemen so we wanted to bring him,” Clement said. “We’re really excited they can put on a barbecue where we can talk with them in a friendly manner. It’s really nice of them to do that for the community.”

Amy Yolten of Anaheim brought along her children Bryan, 10, and Kailyn, 8, who attend Canyon Rim Elementary School.

Happy with his chew toy, Anaheim PD’s Torro gets his reward for a job well done during a K9 demonstration at APD’s Back to School Barbecue.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

“You get to meet your law enforcement personnel,” Yolten said. “You get to meet people from the city and other parents. I saw an officer playing basketball. That was awesome.”

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray also was on hand, and insured the community that “public safety remains our highest priority.”

Anaheim PD Officer Mike Dohmann praises his K9 partner, Torro, during a demonstration at APD’s Back to School Barbecue.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Anaheim PD police dog Torro grabs on as Anaheim PD Officer Lorenzo Uribe acts as the “decoy,” or bad guy, during a K9 demonstration.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Nine-year-old Kendyl Fay looks over her dad’s motorcycle as Anaheim PD Motor Officer Nathan Fay gives her and other kids a chance to feel what it’s like to sit on a police motorcycle.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada welcomes guests to Anaheim PD’s Back to School Barbecue. With him is CNAC member Leslie Swan.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Anaheim PD’s newest helicopter takes off from Canyon Rim Elementary School and Park after being on display for APD’s Back to School Barbecue. The recently acquired helicopter, from the CHP, will eventually receive a new paint job to match the other APD helicopters.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Anaheim PD’s newest helicopter takes off from Canyon Rim Elementary School and Park after being on display for APD’s Back to School Barbecue. The recently acquired helicopter, from the CHP, will eventually receive a new paint job to match the other APD helicopters.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Anaheim PD Officer RJ Young spends time with his K9 partner, Halo, as the crowd gathers around during APD’s Back to School Barbecue at Canyon Rim Elementary School and Park.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Anaheim PD Officer Mike Dohmann demonstrates the obedience of his K9 partner, Torro.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Dylan Steinbeck, 6, of Anaheim Hills, kneels down to pet Anaheim PD’s police dog, Halo, after K9 demonstration.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC