Downey’s Touch-A-Truck | Talon Marks

The city of Downey hosted Touch-A-Truck, an interactive exhibition that allowed children to see, touch and explore different city vehicles, on May 7. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., food trucks and live demonstrations were hosted at Independence Park, 12334 Bellflower Blvd. A mini parade of fire trucks and other official vehicles were extracted at the beginning of the event followed by a fire drill demonstration at noon.

At noon, a fire demonstration were shown to the audience that included a blazing car that was hosed down by the Downey Fire Department.

Photo credit: Darryl Linardi

The Touch-A-Truck event lasted for 3 hours; the first hour was named to be a "quiet hour" as no sirens, horns, or lights were displayed or sounded in respect for those with sensitive eyes and hearing. City/Government services ranging from the police department, emergency medical technicians, and firefighters gathered to showcase the types of vehicles they use on a daily basis. Across from the line of automobiles were tents and projects that were set up by city departments and local activists to educate children on their community and how to keep it clean.

"The purpose of Touch-A-Truck is to give the community an opportunity to see how the different departments work," said Jessica Mancilla, senior activities specialist for Downey's Parks and Recreation department.. Mancilla worked a booth at Touch-A-Truck providing the community with information regarding summer programs and community events. "We have fire, police, public works, the Downey Unified School bus system, and different vendors that have different information about city services," Mancilla said. "I think it's a great event, it just brings the community out."

Downey’s Touch-A-Truck | Talon MarksA booth dedicated to teaching the community about the local watersheds in Southern California.

Photo credit: Darryl Linardi

Mancilla mentioned that it was her first time involved with the Touch-A-Truck event; She thinks it's a great way of promoting local careers to children interested in working with or for their city. The event displayed a wide range of other vehicle to enjoy as well, including a construction loader, a school bus, police motorbikes and a SWAT truck. Several Downey police officers were present to take part in demonstrations; James Nenadal, a corporal at the Downey Police Department, shared his input on the event.

He described Touch-A-Truck as "any other community event -- an opportunity for kids, family members, community members, to get more acclimated with city employees and to get more acclimated with the resources we have within the city and the community." Nenadal has been working for the Downey Police Department for eight years in the canine unit, alongside his canine partner of 3 years, Holts. The police department said they attended the event as a way to connect with children as well as adults and build a dependable and friendly relationship with their community.

Downey’s Touch-A-Truck | Talon MarksA firefighter lifts a boy up from the ground to help him sit in the firetruck.

Photo credit: Darryl Linardi

"Law enforcement is an approachable position if there's ever a problem that kids, adults, or anybody [have]," Nenadal explained. "If they need help with anything, they should be able to call on us. If we don't have the answer for them, we should be able to find them the resources to find the help that they need." It was also officer Nenadal's first time attending a Touch-A-Truck. "It's been great.

It seems like everybody is having a good time and I'm glad to be here," he said.

For any future community events in the city of Downey, keep in touch and visit the city's Instagram page for updates and more.