PAL hosts ‘National Night Out’ community gathering

Federal Bureau of Investigation shows residents the thickness of bullet proof glass.

EL CENTRO– The El Centro Police Activities League (PAL) teamed up with other Imperial Valley law enforcement agencies on August 1 to bring residents to Bucklin Park for an evening of fun and festivities, while introducing the community to the services security agencies offer our Valley.

The PAL group used volunteers to engage young ones in fun craft and game activities, allowing children to enjoy a fun summer evening.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was one of the law enforcement groups with a booth, a popular item being the types of bullet proof glasses used in vehicles. Children, along-side their families, marveled at the different size of bullets which barely penetrated the thick piece of glass.

The Imperial County Sheriff’s Department displayed the vehicles they daily use. One of which was the river boat used by the Boating Enforcement Safety Team (B.E.S.T.).  The team enhances and ensures the safety of the residents and visitors who use Imperial Valley waterways and recreational areas. At the booth, the Sheriff’s Department provided knowledge safe boat operation, hopefully preventing future accidents. The areas patrolled by the Sheriff’s Department consist of the Salton Sea, Bard Lake, Senators Wash, Ferguson, Sunbeam, Ramer, Oxbow, Pretty Water, Clear, Finney, Wiest, Squaw, Little Squaw, and Taylor lakes, and the Colorado River, and Palo Verde Outfall.

“It was a good idea to have the Sheriff Department’s vehicles, where families could get on and check them out for themselves, while learning a little something about what these officers do every day,” says El Centro resident Robert Navarro.

Another popular sheriff’s vehicle displayed for families to hop in and check out was a sand rail, used for the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office Off Highway Vehicle Enforcement Safety Team (O.H.V.E.S.T.). The Safety Team ensures off-road vehicles abide by the safety regulations to prevent fatal and non-fatal  accidents. The areas patrolled are Imperial Sand Dunes Recreational Area (ISDRA – Glamis/Buttercup), Superstition Mountains, Plaster City, Ocotillo Wells SVRA (State Vehicle Recreational Area), Heber Dunes SVRA (State Vehicle Recreational Area), and Truck Haven.

Law enforcement agencies demonstrated their vast and different aspects of the job through booths information and their tools of the trade displayed for all to explore. The PAL organization provided a Hawaiian shaved-iced vendor for free and cold refreshments, taking the edge off the hot and humid summer evening.