Santa Monica’s edition of National Night Out – a nation-wide celebration of community-police partnership – was a rollicking good time for the hundreds of celebrants on Tuesday evening, August 7. In true “block party” tradition, the police closed off the 300 block of Olympic Drive for the event.
Food and drink were provided, and tables were set up by local neighborhood associations, the Red Cross and a variety of civic groups. June Lockhart was selling T-shirts and autographing photos to raise money to feed the horses of the Santa Monica Police Mounted Unit. (The horses themselves are donated, as are the stable accommodations at Will Rogers Park, and the police feed the horses through public donations, said Police Chief Tim Jackman.)
The horses were there, of course, and the SMPD K-9 Unit, the Harbor Patrol with its Zodiac and the Special Entry Team with its Hummer. Lt. Alex Padilla brought his ’58 Impala convertible, and Officer Greg Barbiera brought his classic ’57 Thunderbird.
If this all sounds too much like the 1950s, that was the general idea, since the police department was celebrating the “lowest crime rate since 1956” in Santa Monica. And to complete the theme, entertainment was provided by the Wonderelles, an all-girl group who sang everything from “You Don’t Own Me” and “Johnny B. Goode” to “One Fine Day” and “Da Doo Ron Ron” while wearing poodle skirts (first set) and dungarees with the cuffs rolled up (second set).