PALMDALE – Hundreds of residents came out Saturday for some family fun at the annual Palmdale “Public Safety Expo” held at the Antelope Valley Mall.
“The purpose of this event is to raise public awareness of the different opportunities we have in the sheriff’s department, the different things that we’re doing in the community, and to have a good time,” said Lt. Paul Clay.
Attendees had a good time sampling homemade chili, gawking at custom vehicles and dropping deputies in a dunk tank.
More importantly, residents became acquainted with the various units of the sheriff’s and fire departments, including Search and Rescue, Traffic Services, Sheriff’s Racing Team, Urban Search and Rescue Unit, LA County Fire Engine Companies, Volunteer mounted Unit, Palmdale Stations Explorer Unit, Antelope Valley CERT, LASD Traffic Services Unit, LASD STAR Unit, and many more.
Representatives from the various units answered questions and offered recruitment information.
Palmdale resident, Melissa Gomez, came out to learn more about becoming a sheriff’s deputy. The 16-year-old said it was a field she was strongly considering.
“I like being part of the community, I also like being athletically fit and using that talent,” Gomez said. “And guns interest me.”
Women are in demand at the sheriff’s department, since less than 18% of its 10,000 deputies are female, said Custody Assistant Katherine Keelin.
“We never have enough women,” Keelin said. “Women take care of the families so it’s difficult to keep them in the department.”
Keelin said many women don’t know that there is no upper age limit to becoming a deputy and that every unit in the department must have a female deputy.
“From canine to arson explosives, every unit has to have a female, “ Keely said. “If women have any inclination to be in law enforcement they should give it a try… it’s an amazing career.”
The sheriff’s department recruitment unit will be hosting a “Women in Law Enforcement Career Day” from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, June 23, 2012 at the Sheriff’s Training Academy, located at 11515 S. Colima Road, Whittier, CA 90604. Women curious about a career in law enforcement are encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Deputy Amore Smith at 1-800-A-DEPUTY or (562) 347-1025.
And the winners are…
The winners of the Public Safety Expo Chili Cook-Off are as follows:
- 1st Place – California Highway Patrol
- 2nd Place – Car-B-Q (The car with a BBQ under the hood)
- 3rd Place – Palmdale Sheriff – Partners Against Crime
- 1st Place – Jail House Chili
- 2nd Place – Lancaster Station – End of the Line Chili
- 3rd Place – Antelope Valley Mounted Posse
MOST SPIRITED BOOTH AWARD
- 1st Place – Palmdale Sheriff – Partners Against Crime (dressed as a hot dog with ketchup and mustard bottles)
- 2nd Place – Jail House Chili (dressed in prison attire and served chili through the bars in their booth) their motto “Chili so good it’s a crime.”
- 3rd Place – Car-B-Q (he would open up the car doors and could seat a party of four at his table between the seats)
BIG BOWL CHAMPION AWARD (the team or person who collected the most money through donations and/or advance chili ticket sales.
- 1st Place – Jail House Chili $125.00
- 2nd Place – Squealers Chili $90.00
- 3rd Place – Bill Rini (car show entrant 1924 Moreland Truck) $40.00
Proceeds from the Expo will go toward a memorial being constructed at the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station for peace officers who have been killed in the line of duty .
For many more pictures of this event, visit our facebook page.