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Published August 16th, 2023
Orinda Police Chief takes plunge for donations at National Night Out
Orinda Police Chief Ryan Sullivan sits perched on the dunk tank platform Aug. 1 during National Night Out. Photo Sora O'Doherty

The Orinda Police Department hosted a National Night Out event at the Orinda Police Station on the evening of Aug. 1. National Night Out is hosted by police departments nationwide to promote safer communities through knowing your neighbors and local police officers.
From 5 to 8 p.m. the event offered Orinda residents an opportunity to meet community members, learn how to help fight crime, and have fun. New this year, the OPD barbecued hot dogs and hamburgers and had a bounce house for the littles.
However, according to Officer Norma Perez, by far the most popular activity was dunking the Chief. For each donation of a backpack or school supplies, donors got three chances to dunk Chief of Police Ryan Sullivan in the dunk tank.
Unfortunately for the Chief, it was a chilly evening, but he good-naturedly went into the frigid water fully dressed in his uniform and shoes. Fortunately, not all those who tried to hit the button by throwing a baseball succeeded, but when they did, the action was so fast as to be a blur as the Chief was unceremoniously and instantly dropped into the tank of cold water.
City of Orinda staff were on hand to distribute safety information, and OPD Officers both worked the grill and chatted with residents, young and not-so-young, who turned out for the event, which was held behind the police station, just off Altarinda Road.
Twenty-five backpacks and a few bags of school supplies were donated on the night. For each donation, the donor received three attempts to dunk the chief. Fortunately, out of the over 75 chances to dunk the chief, only a few succeeded. All supplies donated were given to the Family Justice Center in Concord.

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