The Redondo Beach Police Department will be engaging the community through surfing in the coming week, according to Chief Keith Kauffman.
"The RBPD has a vision...our collective vision looks for a way to engage and Redondo Beach culture was partially built by the surf community," Kauffman said.
Thus, "Not your usual suspects" will be in the waves May 4 when the department will host its second annual The Line Up surf contest starting at 7 a.m. at the beach adjacent to the 1800 block of Esplanade, according to an April 22 press release.
All ages and skill levels are welcome in the free contest, the RBPD said.
The competition will pair teams of five people with varying skill levels. A sixth team member who is either a Wounded Heroes of American Veteran, a Special Olympic athlete or a Redondo Beach police officer will also then be assigned to each team, according to the department’s website.
“The distinctive team combination and setting will use the ocean’s power and our community’s love of surfing to build relationships and unite,” Community Services Program Manager Dinah Lary said in a statement. “There will be prizes, time for free surfing, friendly competition and awards.”
Awards will be given out on the beach after the final heat of the day around 2 p.m., according to the department.
The winning team with earn a ‘Golden Donut’ trophy and participants will receive a free T-shirt and lunch.
Local sponsors will also be giving away prizes.
Kauffman, who competed in the event last year with his son, said the goal of the contest is to strengthen the overall local connection.
"We are one with the community. Not just a partner, but part of," Kauffman said. "The competition breaks the barrier between our citizens and the police...strengthens our relationship, which, in turn, builds trust."
Kauffman did not win a 'Golden Donut' last year and he has since been kicked off his son's team, the police chief joked.
"Don't worry though, dad and his long time local legend buddies plan on bringing our A game!" he added.
But, the department said, space is limited and registration will close May 1 so those interested in participating are advised to sign up early at redondo.org/surfcontest
While there is no fee to enter, participants but the department suggests a donation to one of three charities: the Redondo Beach Police Foundation, the Special Olympics of Southern California or Wounded Heroes of America, the contest information page states.
*Updated April 25 to add RBPD Chief Keith Kauffman's comments.