OAKLAND -- Looking to strengthen the relationship between police and the community, the Oakland Police Foundation is hosting a reception Thursday at the Foothill Square Shopping Center where residents can meet officers and also get personal safety tips.

The first-of-its-kind event will be from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. primarily so residents can meet rookie officers who have graduated from recent academies. Veteran officers will also be present and residents may also attend seminars on youth and home security, self-protection and identity theft.

Free food and beverages will be served and the police department will have its mobile command center, SWAT vehicles and lowrider car at the event. Chief Sean Whent will be there and elected officials and candidates for offices have also been invited.

Mike Dennis, president of the nonprofit charitable foundation, said a key component of community policing is a strong working relationship between officers and residents of Oakland's neighborhoods. By hosting the event, the foundation is "helping bridge the relationship gap and facilitate communication by bringing officers and citizens face to face in a fun environment to get to know each other and start forming stronger bonds," he said.

Foothill Square, which is at 10700 MacArthur Blvd., was chosen at the site for the event because of its recent rebirth and the vital role it now plays in East Oakland, especially economically.

For more information email executivedirector@oaklandpolice foundation.org.



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