The final class of the Santa Monica Community Police Academy was held in the most beautiful classroom I have ever seen. No, there’s not a “luxury room” hidden away at the police station somewhere, we were learning about the Harbor Patrol Unit while on the ocean!
The Harbor Patrol Unit is a non-sworn, civilian unit made up of both full time and part time employees. Yes, the Harbor Patrol technically works for the police department, but a lot of what they do isn’t like “cop stuff” at all.
The Harbor Patrol’s main job is to respond to water emergencies. That can include recreational boats, commercial boats, kayaks, long distance swimmers, etc.
They also are responsible for maintaining buoys.
SMPD Harbor Patrol is part of the LAX Air/Sea Disaster Preparedness Plan.
To be part of the Harbor Patrol unit you need to be both an EMT and a scuba/rescue diver with at least 1 year life guarding experience in open water.
The EMT part is due to the amount of time it takes to get someone off a boat and on to dry land if there is a medical emergency.
Traffic being what it is, they are often the first responders to medical emergencies on the Santa Monica pier.
Harbor Patrol responds to deck fires on boats “quite often,” mostly from people smoking cigarettes.
The other call they respond to a lot is people who have fallen/jumped off the pier.
Harbor Patrol operates mostly at the Santa Monica pier & surrounding area, but will respond outside of Santa Monica city limits if a distress call is sent and they could get there before any other responders would.
SMPD’s main boat is a Seaway and is almost identical to lifeguard boats. (5 ft shorter, but with a bigger gate.)
This is the part where I just admit I have entirely too few ‘bullet points’ to justify what is entirely too many photos for one post.
The wind makes me look like I have devil horns!
Glitch in the matrix?
Get it together Chace park! (Or at least get a copy editor…)
I guess I think of the Harbor Patrol officers as one part diver and one part EMT, blended thoroughly and served up in a police crust.
I made a dumb video.
I’m sure there are some palm trees in there somewhere…
This one is for the Sheriff who didn’t stop me from taking pictures by the Metro station, but sure tried to. For the record Officer Crabby Pants: yes, I see that I’m on camera. It’s cool. Yes, I took a picture of a bike rack. No, I am not planning a terror attack. I’m walking over here now to take a picture of a tree. Nope, I’m still not planning a terror attack. Do you want to see my pictures? I’m more than happy to show them to you if you’re worried. Nope? Okay. Yes, I know I’m still on camera over here. It’s still cool. You just keep repeating yourself and I’ll just keep smiling and pretending I don’t understand the deeply insulting insinuations you are making. But now I’m really curious, what kind of terrorist activity involves a big tree and a bike rack? Does the tree explode with enough force to wrench the bike rack from the concrete and somehow destroy or damage a target? Is this the Rube Goldberg school of terrorism??!!? Also, the bike rack and tree were both fairly standard issue. If I was planning something “shady” (#pun intended) there are like a bazillion pictures online of trees and bike racks so… Nope, Officer Crabby Pants was just a jackass. He probably came over initially just to make sure I was okay and not receiving instructions from the mothership via the bike rack. (Or something like that, you get the idea.) Which is commendable. 👏🏽 But then he stuck around and harassed me. He made disgusting insinuations about my intentions, and repeated them when I refused to engage. 🖕🏽 I refused to be shamed, but what if it was someone else instead of me? What if the next person he stops from photographing a big, leafy tree with the sun shining through the branches feels embarrassed for drawing attention to themselves, feels ashamed that a member of law enforcement thought they were up to no good, of just feels less inclined overall to stop and enjoy/photograph this beautiful world. If any one of those things happen (and they are a helluva lot more likely than that farcical terror attack I described above) then I submit to you that he’s the potential terrorist, not me.
I want to write something deeply poignant about roads and bridges and beauty where you don’t expect it… but I’m hungry and all of my metaphors right now involve food delivery. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
None of us are perfect and some of us need extra help to walk or stand. Society can make that challenging sometimes. Today, for example, both a bicyclist and a skateboarder nearly took me out while I was using my walker on a public sidewalk. But it was the dudebro with a gym bag that slammed into my walker, and then told me I should have moved when I saw him coming that prompted this #rant. (Saw him coming from behind me? Without a “pardon me” or anything? Yeah, okay dude, whatever you say 👌🏽) Anytime I feel like I’m too broken to comfortably exist in a public space, I’m going to think of this tree. He (She? I have no idea how tree genders work in regard to the anthropomorphization thereof) can’t stand up. Everyone’s first instinct was probably to uproot and replace this guy (I’ve decided he’s a boy), and understandably so. But he just needs a crutch to keep himself off of the ground, he’s still beautiful. Someone at some point found enough value in Bob (I just named him Bob) to keep and accommodate him so you and I can walk through #tongvapark and enjoy the #flowers and #trees, including Bob who is never going to stand tall, but is already #mighty to me. (No jokes about my height please 😉)
If you ever have the chance to visit the Adamson House in Malibu I highly recommend it. Not only are the coastal views gorgeous, the house itself is stunning. The history of the house and family is fascinating, but it is the use of Malibu Potteries tile that gives the house its ‘historic landmark’ status.
A word of warning to those who use mobility devices: part of the garden tour won’t be accessible to you. The gift shop won’t be a accessible to you. The entirety of the second floor of the Adamson House won’t be accessible to you. You might not be even be able to enter the Adamson House at all, depending on your tour guide. Our assigned tour guide was okay with abandoning me, my walker, and my friend in her wheelchair outside the house with no advice when the tour group went inside. (Really… we asked, he just shrugged.) Thankfully a very sweet museum docent saw us wandering the perimeter of the house looking very lost and took it upon herself to take us to a different entrance with a ramp. We ended up getting a private tour of the first floor of the house, the amazing pool, and the museum. I’m so glad someone took it upon themselves to make sure that we were able to enjoy as much of the house and grounds as possible, it was truly an experience not to be missed.
A friend and I took a trip to see the “Life & Times of Abraham Lincoln” exhibit at the Reagan Library. It was amazing, I really could have spent all day there… If you live in the area I highly recommend you visit before it’s gone. (These are really bad photos, I know this. The exhibit was poorly lit and everything was behind a reflective surface. Despite all of that, the items on display were so fascinating that I want to share the photos. Try not to judge too harshly please.)