Community Outreach Spotlight
“COPTOBER” Community Fair
Submitted by Chief Chris Catren of the Redlands, California, Police Department.
The first "COPTOBER” Community Fair, sponsored by the nonprofit Redlands Police Community Foundation (RPCF), was held in October 2021. RPCF supports the Redlands, California, Police Department (RPD) beyond the general municipal budget by funding programs, such as RPD’s community policing youth programs and activities, that strengthen relationships between the agency and its community.
Members of the RPCF board and RPD’s Community Policing Unit collaborated to plan COPTOBER in a location that would be easily accessible to all Redlands residents. An estimated 1,000 community members attended the outdoor community event and spent the day interacting with RPD in a fun, relaxed environment.
COPTOBER was free to the public, thanks to the RPCF and an array of local business sponsors that participated. Police officers grilled hot dogs and served pizza and a variety of cold drinks. Other vendors served free coffee, cookies, and food coupons. A DJ with Music Changing Lives, an organization located at the Redlands Community Center, provided the music. Numerous other nonprofit organizations participated by presenting information and local history and giving free building kits, coloring books, and games to kids.
There was plenty of family-friendly fun for all in attendance. RPD vehicles, including the SWAT Rescue Unit, were on display for exploring. RPD’s Forensic Unit demonstrated how fingerprints are lifted in investigations. Officers gave out hundreds of free books to kids from the Mobile Book Plane. Also, the department's K-9 police dog, Jake, was a hit with both kids and adults!
The RPD Community Policing Unit is involved with numerous community outreach programs that allow local youths to become acquainted with RPD and foster ongoing, positive interactions with law enforcement. Based on attendance and how much support was demonstrated by the community, the RCPF and RPD hope that the COPTOBER Community Fair will become an annual event in the city of Redlands.
For more information on RPD’s Community Policing Unit, please visit https://www.cityofredlands.org/police or contact Sergeant Jeremy Floyd at firstname.lastname@example.org.