Orland took a night out against crime last week during the annual National Night Out event. 

The nationwide event is a campaign that aims to promote crime prevention programs, police-community partnerships and strengthen community spirit. 

Orland Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) hosts the National Night Out event each year and representatives from law enforcement agencies, ambulance services, fire, public safety, health organizations and more were in attendance. 

Joe Vlach, the Orland police chief, said the event helps show the community what services are available to them.

He said they also are working to break down stereotypes and help the community feel more comfortable with the officers. 

“We’ve got a fantastic community and we’re happy to be a part of it,” Vlach said.

He said the agencies rely heavily on the public – if people don’t call when something is suspicious or they need help, the officers may not know they need assistance.

“When law enforcement, fire and EMS get dispatched, it’s a team effort,” Vlach said. “The community is a huge part of that.”

Amy Travis, deputy director of the Glenn County Office of Emergency Services, said the office representatives’ focus for the night was to promote their emergency alert systems – such as CodeRED – and talk to parents about Child ID Record Keeper, where parents can have their children fingerprinted in case they are lost or go missing. 

“It’s a good time to get a safety message to the public,” Travis said. 

Caryn Brown, of VIPS, said she enjoys seeing all the people connect with law enforcement and what questions they have.

“It’s important to bring the community together and organize booths so the public can be aware of the resources available to them,” Brown said. 

Bill Reichle and Sandy Ward, both of VIPS, spent the evening fitting children with new bicycle helmets to promote safety.

Reichle said the event gives the public a chance to interact with law enforcement.

“It’s good for kids to see police officers in a good light,” Ward said. 

Lane, 5, and Ty Roenspie, 7, were some of the many children who lined up to get fitted with a brand new bicycle helmet. 

They were accompanied by their parents, Megan and Thomas Roenspie, who is an Orland police officer.

Megan Roenspie said they attended to support the event and community and so the boys could have fun. 

Grant and Rosemary Carmon were manning the Orland Police Department K-9 Unit booth to promote their upcoming Paws and Laws Music Festival, which will be on Aug. 24, and raise money for the unit – which is funded completely by donations. 

Grant Carmon, an Orland police officer, said it’s good for the community to be able to interact with first responders.

A lot of the time, the public only sees police officers when they need help or in a negative way but the event gives the community the opportunity to meet officers on a “friendlier, human level,” said Rosemary Carmon, an animal control officer.

“We live and work here and we want to be part of the community,” she said.

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