Police promote perennial pooches

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

security inspections.

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.

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