What do police officers do on their day off? They spend a day at the beach.

There’s been plenty of talk in the City of Fresno about community policing. But the fact is, it’s already here.

Dozens of children from southwest and southeast Fresno recently gathered at the Southwest District Police station, about to embark on one special adventure.

”We are here on outings, whether it be the Monterey Bay Aquarium today, the zoo, or helping them with their homework. These kids live in tough neighborhoods. They live in neighborhoods where we don’t live in. So, we can offer a little bit of hope, a little mentorship,” says Capt. Mark Salazar, who helped organize the trip.

On their day off, six Fresno police officers along with community volunteers chaperoned more than 40 excited children to the aquarium.

Friends Grace and Alexis debated whether they could outrace a sea turtle. Six-year old Darius was excited to see the sharks.

The parents and volunteers are grateful for the unsung work the police provide the community. “Our kids need to know that the police are our friends,” says mother and chaperone Nicole Hutchings. “They are here to help us, not to hurt us. We need to be on the same page.” Hutchings also works with the Fresno EOC Street Saints, an after school program.

Vanessa Romo is a volunteer for the Maxie Parks Community Center. “For the police to be here is really important. We know it is secure and protected,” she told GV Wire.

Finally, it was off to Monterey, where the kids had a fantastic time. They of course saw sea life, the beach and even a seagull on a car.

This is just one of many trips the police plan to treat the kids they serve.

Contact David Taub

Phone: 559-492-4037 / e-mail

This story was not subject to the approval of Granville Homes.


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