Cops grill great burgers — not crooks — at open house

If you missed this fun and informative event, see why you should plan to attend the East Precinct Open House next year‚

Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division officer Brian Hunzeker helps Lucas Lechuga Jr. try on a patrol motorcycle, with the support of his mom and dad, Tisha and Lukas.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Helping citizens connect with their law officers is the theme a yearly open house held by the Portland Police Bureau’s East Precinct.

“We plan all kinds of activities to bring members of our community in to see our precinct,” explained Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Commander Michael Crebs.

Martha, Carlos and Isabel Pagan meet Portland Police mount, Jack and his human partner, Mounted Officer Paka Searle.

Third-year Portland Police East Precinct Cadet, Ryan Mele, proves he’s the “Emeril” of the Open House BBQ grill. “I’m looking forward to law enforcement as a career. I don’t think there is any more satisfying job out there.”

Spencer Duncan gets final instructions from Officer Cox before he rides the bicycle safety training course called “Bike Rodeo”.

The open house was carnival of law enforcement attractions. In addition to opening their motor-home-like mobile precinct for inspection, mounted officers, members of the SERT team, the bomb squad with their remote-control robot and a bike safety rodeo were some of the hands-on exhibits available to the more than 500 visitors who came by on June 23.

The Portland Police East Precinct Cadets provided hospitality to everyone who visited‚ grilling up a complete BBQ lunch for more than 400 visitors.

“It is important to us that people can come out and see that their police are people, like everyone else,” Crebs told us. “When they come to our open house, people get to see what we’re doing with their tax dollar.”

K-9 Officer Shawn Gore, with his partner Eddie, talks with visitors Ryan McLaughlin and Ioanita Costache.

At the armaments table is SERT Officer Larry Wingfield, talking with Carl Fincher. “Very interesting to see the equipment our police uses in their work,” says Fincher.

The basis of “community policing” continued Crebs, is that the police and the people they serve work together as partners to reduce crime, as well as the fear of crime, where they live and work.

“If in individual feels comfortable talking to us, because we’ve already established a relationship, it help them feel like they can call and report a problem or crime, when that time comes,” the commander explained.

Loaded up with goodies after visiting the East Precinct Open House are Evan, Brandon, and Caleb, with their mom, Darlene Peterson.

East Portland Crime Reduction Specialist Rosanne Lee and Wilkes Community Group Chair Ross Monn discussed plans for National Night Out, this year on August 7.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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