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Pasadena’s “Books ‘N Cops: Donut Décor Showdown” Bridges Community-Police Relations

Published on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 | 6:31 am

The Pasadena Public Library and the Pasadena Police Department are teaming up for a sweet and creative event on Saturday, April 20, as they host the “Books ‘N Cops: Donut Décor Showdown,” a fun-filled donut decorating competition at the Jefferson Branch Library that aims to build positive community-police relations.

Police Chief Gene Harris, Library Director Tim McDonald, and local decorators will join the public in a contest to best capture the themes of popular children’s books using donuts and various confections.

Chief Harris emphasized the event’s importance as a platform for positive community engagement and a step towards rebranding community policing efforts.

“National Night Out has been instrumental in shaping our approach to community interactions,” Chief Harris said. “It’s about creating a spirit of togetherness, and I hope the ‘Books ‘N Cops’ series will mirror this success and bring us closer to the community we serve.”

“Books ‘N Cops” is part of broader efforts to enhance police-community relations, aligning with initiatives nationwide. It epitomizes a trend in community policing, using creative activities to foster trust and cooperation. This whimsical contest at the Jefferson Branch at 1500 E. Villa Street. The event promises an engaging and hands-on experience from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.. All materials will be provided.

“Collaborative events such as this one in partnership with our local police department are very important for the library’s community outreach and engagement initiatives,” Tiffany Dueñas, Library Technician at the Pasadena Library’s Youth Services Division and coordinator of the event, said.

“They help build trust and understanding between law enforcement and the community they serve, break down barriers, and create a sense of camaraderie. The event fosters an inclusive atmosphere for everyone in the community. All are welcome to attend and participate.”

The event’s success is also underpinned by robust community support and partnerships, with local organizations like Randy’s Donuts and the Pasadena Police Foundation providing free donuts and other crucial resources.

Lieutenant Carlo Montiglio of the Pasadena Police described the event as a fun challenge that connects children’s literature with an enjoyable activity, which helps foster a friendly relationship between the police and Pasadena residents.

“This event allows officers and the public to interact in a pleasant atmosphere, emphasizing the importance of children’s literacy and the joy of reading,” Lt. Montiglio explained.

The “Books ‘N Cops” series is part of a broader initiative under Chief Harris’s leadership aimed at innovative community engagement. This initiative is a 10-month pilot which will conclude in October, with future events depending on its success and the outcomes of a year-end review.

The collaborative efforts also extend beyond the donut decorating contest, encompassing a range of activities and programs aimed at enriching the community experience.

“There will be donut-themed crafts and donut decorating providing an opportunity for participants to engage in hands-on activities and express their creativity,” Dueñas said. “Lawn games will also be offered to create a relaxed and fun atmosphere where families can bond and interact with each other and others in the community.”

The ”Books ‘N Cops: Donut Décor Showdown” is one in a series of 10 “Books ‘N Cops” events offered this year by the Pasadena Police Department and the Pasadena Public Library, Dueñas added.

“Programs like these give the opportunities to further strengthen the bond between the community and law enforcement while also promoting literacy, creativity, and community engagement,” she said. “Each event offers a unique and engaging experience for participants, ranging from educational and safety-focused activities like the Park Safety meet and greet and K9 tales with Peppa and Officer Padilla to fun and interactive events like the Escape Room and Skip-bo Showdown.”

The Jefferson Branch Library is located at 1500 E. Villa St. in Pasadena. For more call (626) 744-8046.

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