Association makes a splash in Brawley
Lifeguard Ashlynn Brandt watches as Greg Mercado seems to hover in space as he leaves the diving board during the Splash Party 2012 at the Lions Center pool on Saturday in Brawley. (DENNIS JACOBELLI PHOTO / July 7, 2012)
“We’re here for the community and want to get involved,” Association President Brian Smith said.
Jasmin Smith, 14, was excited to not only race but beat a police officer swimming across the pool at the Lions Center on Saturday.
“It’s a lot of fun. We get to see people we know and have fun with friends,” she said.
The association, which represents public safety employees such as police officers and dispatchers, hopes to make it a free annual community event, “so they know if they need something and see us, they can approach us just as people,” Smith explained.
Brawley police Detective Daniel Schleyer showed off his past musical experience with the public Saturday by singing rock ’n’ roll oldies live for the crowd.
“We want to show we care about the community and want to have a partnership with the community so they know we’re here for them, too,” he said.
Numerous law enforcement families and friends also attended the event, which allowed members of the community to get to know association members better as people.
Brawley resident Vicky Hernandez came to the event Saturday after hearing about it from a City Council member.
“I think it’s great, getting the community together during the summer. It’s something for the kids to do and stay out of trouble,” she said.
Her daughter Aleesha Hernandez, 6, excitedly ran up to her mom with her special pool flip-flop earrings dangling to check in Saturday before scampering back off to the pool.
“Especially in the summer it’s a great idea. Not everybody has a pool so something like this is fun for them,” Hernandez said.
Association dues and sponsorship through numerous local businesses helped provide the free event that featured shaved ice, hot dogs, DJ music, cotton candy and more. Brawley Police Explorers also came out and helped serve treats.
Brawley Police Community Services Officer Chela Garcia was giving out free water Frisbee toys Saturday and said it’s important to have these activities since sometimes the community opinion about law enforcement is negative.
“We enjoy doing all this for the kids. I think once we do more of these activities the community will be more together and unified … We’re just like them and very family-oriented,” she said. “A lot of people also don’t know we’re an association so it gets the association’s name out there and the public knows we do things like sponsors and scholarships.”
The association has other annual activities for the community such as providing back to school supplies in August and around Christmas time.
“We want to start doing so many more things for the community,” Brawley police dispatch supervisor and association secretary Regina Kim said, adding that Splash Party will likely be even bigger and better next year.
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or email@example.com.
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