(MORE PHOTOS) The excitement was growing quickly as all eyes and many cameras aimed upward in anticipation of what was to come. Then it appeared: at first tiny in the sky but looming larger as it got closer. Finally the awestruck audience cheered as the official Oakland Police Department helicopter landed, propellor whirring, bringing with it a rush of wind before coming to a stop at its destination: the Merritt Campus!
The appearance of the OPD helicopter on campus near the F Building was the highlight of the Law Enforcement Fair which also included viewing and demonstrations of OPD trucks, motorcycles, bikes and official rescue jet skis, along with tables of information about careers in law enforcement.
The event on June 22, coordinated by Margaret Dixon who heads the Administration of Justice Program, was originally planned to teach the participants of Merritt’s summer Kids Camp about law enforcement. But it turned into a lesson and a thrill for many others on campus, including Merritt President Dr. Marie-Elaine Burns, and demonstrated Merritt’s strong connection with the OPD.
“This was all about community partnership,” says Ms. Dixon, who spent 25 years with the OPD herself before retiring. “I asked them to bring all of their bells and whistles to show the kids what they do. But the event also showed how our long-running partnership with the OPD strengthens our program with their generous contributions and participation.” (Photos by Birhon Quizhpe)