David Mendez

National Night Out draws hundreds to Anderson Park

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by David Mendez

Redondo Beach’s Anderson Park was full of families on Tuesday for National Night Out, dedicated to bringing neighbors and neighborhoods together with a focus on public safety.

The gathering was a mini-block party, complete with a potluck table, a grill, and music. The biggest difference was the collection of booths around the park’s perimeter.

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At one end, LA County Beaches and Harbors set up near the Redondo Beach Police Department’s mobile command trailer. At another, members of gun-safety group Moms Demand Action had a table near a Girl Scout table educating the public about coyote safety. The Beach Cities Health District’s inflatable AdventurePlex was a stone’s throw away from RBPD’s drone contractor and K-9 unit.

The event was organized, for the third year, by Redondo Beach Public Safety Commissioner Jeff Gaul.

“I think this is a good way for people to connect with each other and open up lines of communication between the police and the public,” Gaul said.

The Redondo Beach City Council was present, as well, having canceled its regular open session meeting to attend.

“This is very exciting, and I love how the community has gotten together. This is perfect weather,” said Councilwoman Laura Emdee, who represents the area. “Jeff Gaul and his team have done a wonderful job of making sure everyone came to participate, and who doesn’t want to see drones and dogs?”

The event was also scheduled to include a public safety roundtable discussion, including the candidates for the 66th District State Assembly seat, incumbent Al Muratsuchi, and challenger Frank Scotto.

But that was canceled, due to the kinds of technical issues befitting a neighborhood block party.

“My daughter broke the microphone,” Gaul said.

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