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Officer Bill Turner and Surfer Parker Browning at the Redondo Beach Pier to promote the Redondo Beach Police Department's upcoming surf contest May 5.

When a police officer tells you to get in the line up, you could be the suspect in a crime. But soon, Redondo Beach Police Department will call on locals to get in the surf line up.

Coming off a successful skateboard contest in October, the department is planning its next community-focused event, this time a team surf contest titled "The Line Up."

"We're trying to reach people who we normally wouldn't reach," said Dinah Lary, community services program manager for the RBPD. "Usually when you have an experience with a police officer, it's not your best day. It's usually because you're the victim of a crime or something is going bad, so we're trying to have your experience be positive and do things that are more fun."

The contest is designed for all ages and skill levels in partnership with the Special Olympics of Southern California, Wounded Heroes of America and the Redondo Beach Police Foundation. While the event is free to compete, donations are encouraged to any of three charities. 

The contest itself will involve teams of up to six members that can either be pre-arranged or sorted out at the event. Each team will also include either a Special Olympic athlete, military veteran or police officer, many of whom do not have much experience surfing, Lary said. 

"They are going to have to work together as a team to help that person catch their waves," Lary said. "It's really about the experience and having a good time."

The winner of the event will be presented with a Golden Donut trophy, a tongue-in-cheek reference to a police officer's favorite treat.

"We do have a sense of humor," Lary joked. 

So what's next for the department that's getting cooler by the day? Lary said there is no shortage of ideas. The only slow-up is organizing them and getting them funded.

The surfing event will be supported a variety of sponsors. Participants will receive a t-shirt, lunch and a chance to win prizes provided by event sponsors. 

To sign up for the event or to become a sponsor contact Dinah Lary at (310) 379-2477 x2852. For more information visit Redondo.org.

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