McLean: ‘A Day in the Park with the Chief’ will offer free food, fun at Las Piedras Park
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: August 28, 2013
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Times
It will be “A Day in the Park with the Chief” Saturday at Las Piedras Park, where you can enjoy free food, fun and festivities as well as a chance to meet Steve McLean, Santa Paula’s new police chief. The event will be held August 31 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the park, located at 451 N. 13th Street.
McLean said the community is invited to enjoy chicken, carne asada, hot dogs, hamburgers, beans and rice. There will be children’s activities and games, inflatables for jumping, face painting, potato sack races and prizes for the kids.
“Everything,” he noted, “is free.... We’ll probably have a DJ” to add music to the event that McLean said is “an opportunity for the residents to interact with me and other members of the police department.”
Another opportunity to interact with McLean will be at the Dunk Tank. He’s not saying if he’ll be on the seat that could lead to a drenching, but he did say although he would be in uniform he’ll bring a change of clothes.
McLean said the event is similar to those he staged annually the two years he was the captain of the Altadena Los Angeles Sheriff’s Substation. He retired from the Sheriff’s Department in February 2012 and became Santa Paula’s 14th chief of police on July 1.
“We had probably 300 people at the Altadena barbecues,” and although McLean said he sees the August 31 Santa Paula event as a “one-time, break the ice, meet and have a good time thing,” he anticipates more such gatherings each year thereafter.
But it’s more than just having a good time: “The way I see how police should be interacting with the community, well, with Santa Paula police it’s not even close ... We have to do a better job of interacting with the community.”
On hand will be K-9s, Explorers, Reserves and even MacGruff the Crime Fighting Dog. Overall, McLean said the barbecue “will be a relaxed time... I walk around to meet everybody and it’s an opportunity for people to come out to one location for several hours” and enjoy a day of free fun while interacting with local police.
Tables will be set up, but he urged that people bring chairs or blankets. McLean said he is looking forward to the event, as “I can meet a whole lot of people in several hours.”