By Jane Dreher, Redlands Police Community Foundation
A large crowd of adults and children turned out for the first-ever Redlands Police "COPTOBER" Community Fair last Saturday, October 2, held at the Redlands Ranch Market parking lot.
"We had a very successful Coptober Community Fair with an estimated 800-1,000 people attending the event," stated Redlands Police Officer Eddie Herrara with the Community Policing Unit. "It was heartwarming to see all the families attending and socializing with our police officers, our Chief of Police, mayor and council members, and Assemblymember James Ramos. It's a great reminder that the constant outreach and responses we make into our community are appreciated by those we serve."
The event was totally free to the public, thanks to the Redlands Police Community Foundation and local business sponsors. Police officers grilled 400 hot dogs and served 300 pieces of pizza, along with a variety of cold drinks. Other vendors were there serving free coffee, cookies, and food coupons. Music was provided by a DJ with "Music Changing Lives," an organization located at the Redlands Community Center. Numerous non-profit organizations participated and presented information and local history, gave free building kits, coloring books, and games for kids.
Redlands Police showcased their variety of equipment, including the large SWAT Rescue Unit. The Forensic Unit was a big attraction as officers demonstrated how they can lift finger prints off objects. The department's new K-9 police dog Jake was a hit with both kids and adults. The Police Book Plane gave hundreds of free books out to the children.
Assemblymember James Ramos had a booth and mingled around the event talking to the public and commented, "Attending this COPTOBER event is a good way for elected leaders to show support for public safety in the community and to get out and meet people personally. I like how the public and police came together to show support for one another."
The Community Policing Unit is involved with numerous community outreach programs so youth can get acquainted with members of the Redlands Police Department. "COPTOBER was a great opportunity for us to interact in a fun, educational, and relaxing environment," stated Chief of Police Chris Catren.
Foundation President Stan Weisser and Officer Herrara concurred that COPTOBER Community Fair will become an annual event in Redlands. "There was so much good support from businesses and the community this year, so we will continue to build on this success for next year," concluded Weisser.