By Mary O’KEEFE
Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy Eddie Tsuang from the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station took some time on Monday to talk to kids about what law enforcement does while reinforcing citizenship and self-esteem.
Tsuang has been trained in the LASD’s STAR (Success Through Awareness and Resistance) program. The program is based upon the “belief that crime prevention programs focused on youth are the key to developing safer communities,” according to the STAR web page.
Tsuang had done STAR outreach in the past at other stations he was assigned to and now is available to bring the program to local youth groups. On Monday, he brought the program to Cub Scout packs 395 and 398. Their packs are based at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The boys learned about the equipment law enforcement uses in the performance of their duty. They had a lot of questions about guns and handcuffs, which Tsuang answered.
Capt. David Silversparre and dispatcher Annette Chavez were there to support Tsuang, as were members of the Montrose Search and Rescue. The team shared the equipment they use during rescues. MSR member Tim Berry demonstrated the harness used when rappelling down a mountain or out of a helicopter. Cub Scout Stephen Krider put the harness on, which was a little heavier than he thought.
The Scouts asked a lot of questions and shared stories about what they do when they hike, and what equipment is needed when they are camping or hiking.
“Flashlights.” “Whistle.” “Water.” “Jacket” were just some of the suggestions shouted out by the boys. MSR also told the kids how to stay safe if they encounter animals or rattlesnakes, and to remember to never hike alone.
The Scouts enjoyed the hands-on experience of learning about the equipment both MSR and sheriffs use, but a highlight came when the kids were allowed to get into Dep. Tsuang’s patrol unit and turn on the siren or call through the intercom.
The STAR program is designed to help build kids’ confidence and to let them know they can trust law enforcement. As part of the program, Tsuang had the boys take an oath that included promising to do their homework, brush their teeth and to eat their vegetables. The program promotes healthy life choices.