Mary A. Castillo
The idea was peculiar, one that people get when they imagine the
At least that was how Robin Levinson, court liaison officer with
the Laguna Beach Police Department, came up with the idea to create
the 2003 Watchdog Calendar featuring the pooches of police personnel.
"I saw our department K-9, Max, and pictured my dog Luna C. as a
police dog," she said.
Weighing in at 14 pounds, Luna C. Levinson may not strike fear in
the hearts of criminals, but she was all the inspiration Levinson
needed to create a calendar that could raise funds for the
Neighborhood Watch Inc.
Neighborhood Watch was established as a nonprofit program in 1981
when the community was hit with 610 burglaries that year, said Coleen
Lawrence, coordinator of the program. It has decreased burglaries by
75%, proof positive that the program works.
"The money will be used for all kinds of things," Lawrence said.
The funding helps them go into the schools and shelters to talk to
children and adults about safety as well as conduct home and business
Currently there are 120 Neighborhood Watch block captains in the
city who act as the eyes and ears for the police.
"They're keeping an eye out for each other," Lawrence said. "It's
the community that makes this program so strong."
The calendar itself has become a hot item since it came out on the
first anniversary of Levinson's joining the department. K-9 Max
graces the cover of the calendar, which includes Chief James
Spreine's Golden Retriever, Bosco. It reminds dog lovers of the
reasons why humans bring them into their homes despite the
housebreaking, vets bills and other ungraceful social customs.
"Acquiring a dog may the only opportunity a human ever has to
choose a relative," Levinson said, sharing a quote from Mordecai
Siegal, one of the tongue-in-cheek observations sprinkled through the
Local businesses sponsoring the calendar include Miller and
Associates, who donated the graphic design work. Levinson and
Lawrence hope that it will become an annual event.
The calendar can be purchased for $10 at the Laguna Beach Police
Department. For more information, please call (949) 497-0382.