SAN DIEGO– San Diego Police Department held its fourth “Peace in the Park” event in the South Bay, aimed at helping officers to connect with neighbors and build relationships.
The event — held at Mountain View Park — offered residents county and local resources, bounce houses and an Easter egg hunt.
“It’s really nice to come out and allow your kids to feel safe in the park and have a lot of festivities going on,” said Rashida Hameed, a Mountain View neighborhood resident who attended the event with her grandson and family.
“The kids are having a blast, they are going around playing all the games,” said another resident, William Sosa, who lives nearby the park.
The event, according to the SDPD, hoped to celebrate community, police officers and neighbors.
“This is about building and fostering those relationships,” San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said. “We already have great relationships — it’s about building upon those, creating some new relationships, meeting a lot of kids (and) talking to the kids.”
“I like meeting them — the people who save us sometimes,” a young attendee of the event, Liam Sosa, said of the opportunity to connect with SDPD officers.
The “Peace in the Park” event took place in a community that has seen violence in the area in the past, according to Nisleit.
Neighbors said Mountain View has also not always had the best interactions with police.
“It really makes (my grandson) see police in a different light than he is used to seeing them, with them pulling someone over or interacting with community members in a not-so-positive way,” Hameed said.
“Kids can also see that they’re here for the good moments … not just during those urgent calls, emergency distress calls,” added Marco Medina, who lives in the neighborhood.
“It’s building that bond between the community and the police,” added William Sosa.