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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Citizens Police Academy Week Three -- Disaster Preparedness and Community Services

Lisa Derderian, emergency management coordinator and public information officer for the Pasadena Fire Department, was one of the presenters at the Citizens Police Academy class last Thursday.

She said she missed me so much in my capacity as the Pasadena PIO that she wanted to present me with my very own fire helmet.

Of course, this means I have to flash back to the nasty, bitter, bloody rivalry we once had.

So once again (as if we would ever tire of it!) here are the photos of Lisa in her Fire PIO hat and me in my makeshift City PIO hat that was born* out of my pure, unbridled jealousy:

Who had the better PIO helmet? I'll let you be the judge!

And now, back to our class.

Lisa explained everything that should be placed in our emergency kits for disaster preparedness and gave us additional tips for what to expect immediately after a major earthquake.

At home I have one of the red backpacks you see on the podium.

After Lisa's presentation, Sgt. Bobby Lomeli (left) and Officer Christian Allen of the Pasadena Police Department explained some of the programs of the Neighborhood Services Unit of the Community Services Section

One of those programs is the Police Activities League (PAL), which provides positive alternatives to children and teens ages 9 to 17, including mentoring, tutoring, recreation and field trips. 

The annual Golden Badge Awards, which helps fund the PAL program, is coming up May 17, so please (please!) buy a ticket or make a donation. 

Among the many other programs of the Neighborhood Services Unit are the Junior Public Safety Academy for kids who want to become police officers and firefighters someday; the Summer Leadership Conference for middle school students who are emerging leaders; the Kids Safety Academy that teaches children everything from stranger danger to bicycle safety... 

...and the Youth Accountability Board that helps first-time offenders reflect on their actions and move toward a pathway of success by making amends and attending counseling with their families.

Officers and other staff in the Neighborhood Services Unit also make presentations to the nearly 500 Neighborhood Watch groups in Pasadena, conduct voluntary property inspections to look for telltale signs that could attract burglars, organize Pasadena's annual National Night Out, make presentations at schools throughout Pasadena and so much more.

Speaking of schools, Lt. Edward Calatayud (right), who heads up the Community Services Section, spoke to our class about the Safe Schools Team.

Funded by PUSD, the Safe Schools Team consists of one sergeant and six officers of the Pasadena Police Department (including Officer Sahak Nersesyan on the left) who maintain a safe and secure environment for students in high schools and middle schools in Pasadena. The team combines community outreach with prevention, intervention and enforcement while establishing relationships with students and creating partnerships with school administrators.   

As the Pasadena PIO for 21 years, I spent my fair share of time at the Pasadena Police Department and at PD events and incidents. I learned a lot over the course of those two decades but I certainly don't know it all. I'm finding there's so much more to take in!

I feel so fortunate to be in the Citizens Police Academy. Our next class is tomorrow night and I'll blog about in the next few days.

* The mighty Zack Stromberg created my PIO hat at my request. 

I took the photos from last week's class. Many thanks to Pasadena Star-News, Zack Stromberg and Pasadena Police Foundation for the others.

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