Police, Fire Open House Bonds Community Together

Police and fire open their doors Sunday to the public. Gavilan Media Archive Photo

It’s been going on for more than 18 years, fire and police officials say. Every year, it’s pretty much the same thing, but public safety officials and community members do not seem to tire of the South Pasadena Police and Fire Department open house taking place this Sunday.

“I really do think these are important,” So Pas Fire Chief Paul Riddle said during a telephone interview last week. “There’re always members of the community that are amazed by all the resources we have at our disposal. This is a great event for the community and us.”

Acting Police Chief Brian Solinsky agreed, saying that although it does happen annually, the open house affords the public a chance to see behind the mystique.

“We give tours of the station and it breaks down the mystique of the police station; people get to see what our station is actually like,” Solinsky said.

Solinsky also said he sees parents coming to the open house that came when they were children years ago and are now bringing their own kids.

“You know, I’ve been here 25 years,” Solinsky said. “I’ve seen kids come years ago that are now grown and have their own families and they are bringing their own kids to the open house. This is a great way to bring the community closer to what we do.”

The open house, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, occurs the same time and day as the Cruz’n for Roses event that shuts down Mission Street for the display of hot rod and vintage automobiles. It is a major fundraiser for the Tournament of Roses entry.

The open house takes place at the fire and police stations along Mission Street. The back parking lot for fire and police, usually closed to public access, will be open to the public, officials say.

“The big hit always, of course, is the landing of the helicopters,” Riddle said. “We also will have specialized equipment on display from various departments. There’s a lot to see and do.”

The helicopters, scheduled to come from Los Angeles County and San Bernardino fire departments and Pasadena Police, will be landing on top of the parking structure at the corner of Hope Street and Fremont Avenue.

The new So Pas police mascot, Justice, will be on hand along with police canines, demonstrations, child fingerprinting and photographs and a raffle to win a ride in a police helicopter.

Most everybody from both departments will be available during the open house. There will be plenty of food and refreshments as well.

Solinsky and Riddle say  community support is vital for public safety.

For more information on this upcoming event, check out the South Pasadena Review’s event listing here.