Yucca Valley — Law enforcement and the community connected during National Night Out at its new location at the Yucca Valley Community Center Tuesday.
National Night Out is an annual campaign to promote public safety by helping build a bond between residents and local law enforcement.
Hosted by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the free event is geared toward bringing law enforcement and community members together.
“It’s a great turnout,” said Capt. Trevis Newport, commander of the Morongo Basin sheriff’s station. “It reminds you how the community supports each other.”
For the fourth annual National Night Out, the event was moved to the Yucca Valley Community Center from the Wal-Mart parking lot this year so more activities could be added, especially indoors for the more than 20 vendors and families participating.
“This is the first year it’s been here and we’re happy to host it,” said Sue Earnest, community services manager with the town government.
A 26-year-old horse named Zuli with the Morongo Basin’s Equestrians on Patrol unit of the Sheriff’s Department was one of the most popular parts of the night. Zuli could rest his hoofs on dirt instead of concrete this year and had shade options, too.
“It’s much better here,” Vice Commander Linda Fisher said.
Along with informational booths on crime prevention, there were displays of equipment, law enforcement vehicles and demonstrations by the Sheriff’s Department. Health care screenings were offered free of charge by Desert Oasis Health and Route 62 Cruisers members displayed cars.
Families enjoyed games and free hot dogs, chips and drinks provided by the Sheriff’s Department.
“It’s another great way to break bread together,” Newport said.
Now in its 36th year, the National Night Out charity announced this month that more than 16,000 communities across the country have registered 38 million people participating in the one-night event.
Participating groups in the Morongo Basin included the California Highway Patrol, Morongo Basin Healthcare District, county Supervisor Dawn Rowe, Yucca Valley High School cheer squad members and the Morongo Basin Community Emergency Response Team.
Several people expressed interest in signing up for future CERT classes.
“The training is for preparedness,” said Carl Angdahl, CERT training coordinator. “I’d love to have everybody in the Morongo Basin trained.”