Alpine’s first National Night Out Against Crime deemed successful
By Joe Naiman
For The Alpine Sun
On a national crime prevention level, August 6 was the 30th anniversary of National Night Out Against Crime. Alpine’s Sheriff’s Substation held a National Night Out Against Crime for the first time, and both the substation’s commander and the Alpine’s crime prevention specialist deemed the event successful.
“I was very pleased with how it turned out,” said Holly Conroy, the substation’s crime prevention specialist who organized the event.
“In my opinion we had a successful event, and I’m very happy that members of the community came out here,” said substation commander Lt. Christine Harvel.
Approximately 250 people dropped by the Alpine substation and parking lot for the activities. “We had a lot more people than I was expecting,” Conroy said. “I was real happy with the turnout.”
In addition to members of the public, the California Highway Patrol and the Alpine Fire Protection District joined the Sheriff’s Department in participating. Alpine’s Kiwanis Club collaborated with Albertson’s to sponsor a barbeque, and Mountain Empire Family Medicine/Alpine Family Medicine gave away first aid kits and toothbrushes.
Harvel had been in the Sheriff’s Department’s Emergency Services division prior to being transferred to the Alpine substation March 11. “I love this job here in Alpine. It’s a great opportunity. I was lucky to get this command,” she said. “This community’s excellent. It’s a very welcoming community.”
Harvel also believes that Alpine has the community mentality to limit crime through community involvement. “This community has awareness, which is great,” she said.
Conroy joined the Alpine substation in February. “We’re a small community. Everybody pretty much looks after each other and takes care of each other,” she said.
National Night Out Against Crime seemed like a good fit for Alpine in Conroy’s opinion. “This was something I saw at other stations,” she said.
Alpine is a substation affiliated with the Santee station, which has its own National Night Out Against Crime. “The reason we wanted to have it here is because our community’s here,” Harvel said.
National Night Out Against Crime isn’t a community vigil, nor is it an alternative social event similar to Safe Halloween activities. Rather it allows citizens and law enforcement officials to become more familiar with each other. “They can see what we do on a day-to-day basis,” Conroy said. “It’s nice to have the community come in and socialize with the deputies.”
“You can never do enough work to foster communication with the community,” Harvel said.
Approximately 15 members of the Sheriff’s Department staff were present to meet the citizens. It can’t be said that nobody ended up in jail, as the activities included a tour of the substation which has holding cells, and numerous children also ended up in Sheriff’s Department or California Highway Patrol police cars as well as fire engines. No theft arrests occurred, as the half-dozen members of the Kiwanis gave away the hot dogs after preparing them in the Kiwanis Club cook shack, and Albertson’s also provided free soft drinks.
Harvel and Conroy entertained recommendations from the public about improving subsequent events; proposals included games and music. “We had a lot of suggestions from the community,” Harvel said.
“I am happy with the attendance,” Harvel said. “I can’t wait for next year.”