Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Perris Celebrates National Night Out

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch, Perris Sheriff Station Capt. John Hill and Menifee Mayor John Denver at the National Night Out last week. Mayor Busch called the annual event an opportunity that “gets people familiar with their public safety and law-enforcement community.”
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch, Perris Sheriff Station Capt. John Hill and Menifee Mayor John Denver at the National Night Out last week. Mayor Busch called the annual event an opportunity that “gets people familiar with their public safety and law-enforcement community.”

A crowd of about 5,000 took part in the Perris Valley’s annual National Night Out Against Crime, an event that featured the Perris Mounted Patrol, canine demonstrations, members of the Citizens Patrol and an assortment of vehicles and technology aimed at keeping one step ahead of the bad guys.

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch led the City’s contingent at the July 28 event, a combination of meet-your-local cops and community picnic featuring free hot dogs, hamburgers, cotton candy and Kettle corn.
Other City representatives included City Councilman Mark Yarbrough, City Clerk Judy Haughney, Public Safety Commissioners Shawn Haughney and Joseph Dapice and several members of the Perris Citizens Patrol.

 “This is a really great event that gets people familiar with their public safety and law enforcement community,” Busch said. “The City of Perris is a very staunch supporter of public safety and during these difficult economic times we must work hard to get the maximum
benefit for our community.”

Perris Public Safety Commissioner Joseph Dapice pats Nifty, a horse owned by Tom Hughes of the Perris Mounted Posse
Perris Public Safety Commissioner Joseph Dapice pats Nifty, a horse owned by Tom Hughes of the Perris Mounted Posse.

Yarbrough delivered two vehicles used by firefighters as part of a “cut-and-rescue” demonstration. He said National Night Out provides the perfect forum for Perris residents to learn about the latest techniques used to fight crime, see some of the high-tech equipment used by special enforcement teams, check out the motorcycles and off-road vehicles used to track down trespassers and sign up to take part in a Neighborhood Watch program.

In short, Yarbrough said, it’s a great way for City residents to see their tax dollars at work.

“It’s a great way to meet police and learn about the many ways they protect our citizens,” Yarbrough said.

The night began with a skydive featuring four parachutists from the Perris Valley Skydiving Center. The airport in 2009 was home to the world’s largest ever women’s group skydive. More than 180 women
from 30 countries jumped in unison to raise money and awareness
of breast cancer research.

Off-road motorcycles used by law officers help keep motorized trespassers off private property
Off-road motorcycles used by law officers help keep motorized trespassers off private property.

Four-legged critters proved popular with the visitors.

Perris Mounted Patrol volunteers Tom Hughes and Shannon Rollen answered a steady stream of question from curious kids and adults, posed for dozens of photos and let their horses—Thunder and Nifty—become rock stars for the day. The pair thanked the City of Perris for sponsoring them at a 40-hour course for equestrian riders.

The course included formation training and coping with fireworks, balloons, hula hoops and strollers. Coping with such distractions is vital for horses and their human partners, as mounted patrols frequently work parades, other special events and patrol store parking lots during the busy holiday season.

“The City of Perris really supports us,” Hughes said. “They make sure we have all the necessary training and equipment to do our job.”
 

A parachutist from Perris Valley Skydiving floated to earth while flying the American flag at the National Night Out Against Crime
A parachutist from Perris Valley Skydiving floated to earth while flying the American flag at the National Night Out Against Crime.

Among the questions Hughes fielded during the National Night Out: What kind of horse is Nifty? A paint. How old is the horse? Nineteen, about middle age. Why is it not a good idea to stand behind a horse.

“The exhaust,” Hughes said.

Police canines also proved a hit with the audience, as the dogs demonstrated how they take down fleeing and uncooperative suspects. Sheriff’s deputies wearing heavily padded protection volunteered to be bitten by canines as part of the demonstration.

During Saturday’s National Night Out, police canines easily raced down and tackled a fleeing suspect. In another demonstration, a canine latched onto a suspect in a vehicle and pulled her through the window to the ground.

Most Riverside County agencies employ Belgian Malinois dogs that
are trained in Germany, Holland and the Czech Republic.  Handlers
must give them command in Dutch.

A canine demonstration included how police dogs can be deployed to remove uncooperative suspects from vehicles
A canine demonstration included how police dogs can be deployed to remove uncooperative suspects from vehicles.

The dogs also showed their olfactory prowess by easily sniffing out a packet of concealed drugs.

Deputy Ken Guilford, who explained the demonstration to the audience, said it makes no sense to try to mask the scent of drugs from trained detector dogs, since canines possess a sense of smell 1 million times more sensitive than humans.

The 2012 National Night Out took place in Menifee, which along with Canyon Lake and several unincorporated areas are served by deputies headquartered in Perris. Menifee Mayor John Denver called the night out a “great community event.”

“It gives everybody another chance to get together and have a great time,” Denver said.