With the smell of barbeque filling the air and alongside members from the Culver City Police Department, local residents and visitors enjoyed this year’s Culver City Police Department Open House.
“We have been very fortunate and have great community support from both businesses and residents; it’s awesome,” CCPD Sgt. Bill Browne said. “We have done it every two years since the first one was hosted. Transparency is a big issue in law enforcement; I think that it is important to be transparent and let people know that we have no secrets.”
Since 2006 the department has been opening its doors to the community via open houses in order to give residents a chance to take a glance at how the department works.
“It’s nice that they do this for the community because you get to meet the officers and meet the people and see how friendly they are,” 57-year resident of Culver City Dorothy Knott said. “You learn about the station and get to see places you normally don’t get to visit.”
The day’s event, which included free food, K-9 demonstrations, Department tours, fingerprinting and other activities for children, was filled with curious community members from the moment the doors opened.
“This is the equipment that we have; this is what we work with and this is who we are,” Browne said. “The more open you are to the public the greater the trust that you build with them and that leads to support.”
With the city’s population growing and more outside visitors making Culver City a destination for leisure activities, CCPD still has challenges to deal with despite being considered one of the most effective department in the state.
“There is always room for improvement no matter how good we are doing,” Browne said. “There are always things we can do to get better. We are doing great with less and we are keeping our response times low, especially for emergency calls.”
For some of the residents in attendance, the safety provided by the department makes Culver City the ideal place to live.
“I feel so safe in Culver City,” Knott said. “Culver City has always been safe, despite the growth. Progress is always going on but it is a great place to live. I feel the safest and if I had a choice, it is the city that I want to be in.”