About 40 to 50 local children came out to the Delano Police Department's Play in Peace event at the city's new Park and Recreation community center at 11th Avenue and Albany Street.

"We wanted to give these kids a last chance to hang out and have some fun," said the agency's Community Services Officer Rafael Silva. "Instead of being home playing video games, we are giving them an opportunity to do something before school is back."

Delano Union School District opens on Tuesday.

Just a few weeks back, Silva, Cpl. Jose Madrigal and the Parks and Recreation Department partnered to offer a weeklong Junior Police Camp for 30 campers. The department's National Night Out will be Tuesday.

The agency also hopes to have its third Delano neighborhood block party on Sept. 25, in the northwest part of town, Madrigal said. The exact location is still being determined.

Other Delano police officer-inspired community events have included:

Two Hispanic Residents Academy, organized by Cpl. Madrigal

In November, another officer started up a program with the Delano Union School District school to reach out to students who are at risk of falling behind in school, or getting in trouble. Their method: using everyday table games, and most importantly, the time provided by officers. It started at Albany Park, but will likely be used in other district schools

On Oct. 26, Nevarez and his officers literally were “Choppin’ It Up” with Delano residents looking to get haircuts at Carlos’ Barbershop or hair styling at Almas’s Beauty Salon next to each other on High Street. The agency had meet-the-community sessions and some tri-tip and light refreshments

On Oct. 22, officers were part of a successful Neighborhood Watch meeting at the Sunny View apartments — with more than 100 people attending, organized by Sgt. Richard Stites

Just last week, officers organized the first “Cafe con Campesinos” where officers interacted with farm laborers to build vital trust with this segment of the community

Officers have also been playing Loteria with senior citizens at various sites around town.

Those new events come on top of the agency’s previous annual community events such as National Night Out on Aug. 7, Trunk or Treat on Oct. 29, and Shop with a Cop in December.

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