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A member of the Oxnard Police Department gets dunked during the Car Show. (Photo by Chris Frost)
Thursday, August 29, 2019

By Chris Frost


Oxnard—The Oxnard Police Department's Third Annual Car Show benefitting the DRAGG (Drag Racing Against Gangs & Graffiti) Program filled downtown, Aug. 25, with people having a great time, hearing good music and enjoying the day.


The show continues to grow each year as over 200 classic cars took part in the event.


Attendees also got the opportunity to dunk a cop in the dunk tank with all the proceeds going toward the DRAGG program and the Oxnard Explorers.


Sergeant Charles Woodruff ran the DRAGG program booth and said everybody knows the DRAGG program is a youth after-school automotive program.


"We have high school kids who come to our classes after school," he said. "They do projects, work on auto instruction, and they go on field trips to auto races and all types of things in the industry. The students get school credit and get to get engaged with almost every automotive industry we have in town."


The booth was filled with DRAGG Swag, he said, and buying an item is a significant donation to the kids.


"This keeps the program running after school and keeps these kids busy," he said. "Being a police officer in this town; we have to keep these kids busy. We don't want them to fall into those influences; we don't want them to go towards."


The program got started in Oxnard, Woodruff said, and then blossomed through Ventura County, the Filmore area and Thousand Oaks.


"Now, Santa Barbara County has it, we're in Phoenix Arizona and the Los Angeles areas, specifically in the Van Nuys and Mission Hills area," he said. "We'll open up their programs toward the end of this year. It's police, kids, youth, automotive, and educational."


He loves seeing all the different pieces of the community at the event.


"You have car clubs, businesses, food vendors, and our youth programs are here, as well," he said. "Everybody is represented."


Larry Roberts represented the Valley Mustang Club in the San Fernando Valley and brought his 2015 Mustang Twin Turbo GT to the show.


"It took me 45 minutes to get here," he said. "It's a classic show for cars. I was going to bring my wife's car, a 1939 Chevrolet Five Window Coupe, but it had alternator issues."


Having a hot rod Mustang is an expensive proposition.


"I sneak money out of the account, so my wife doesn't know," he said. 


Sharon Roberts said when he spends money on cars, it's okay.


"If it has to be fixed, it has to be fixed," she said. 


Crystal Magrio and her family were watching people getting dunked and enjoying it.


"I love coming out, seeing all the cars and see what they have," she said. 


Explorer Advisor and Patrol Officer Ignacio Cornel brought his crew of teenagers between the ages of 14 and 21 to the show. People approach them and say they are interested in a law enforcement career.


"This program is good for them," he said. "They go on the ride alongs with us, work the checkpoints and get to learn how to be a police officer without going through the training."


He called it great exposure for the kids.


"Not only for kids who want law enforcement experience, but for kids who want job experience and go to college," he said.  


He loves engaging with the community in a different light.


"They ask questions they might not be able to ask when we are out on patrol," Cornel said. 


Senior Explorer Guadalupe Morales has been with the group for two years and finds it competitive.


"It starts with explorer recruit, explorer, senior explorer, sergeant, lieutenant, and captain," she said. "I went through an academy, and it was intense. They yell at you, give you physical training, and you go through life scenarios where you go in and control and create peace."


People interested in the police explorers program are encouraged to come to the station and get an application.


"The requirement is to be between 14 and 21, a 2.5-grade point average, and we have meetings every first and third Wednesday of the month," she said. "Any interested applicants can contact us through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter."


Chief Scott Whitney said the car show is excellent and every year it gets a little bigger.


"We have the regular and new people who come out," he said. "It's a great way to connect with the community. Everybody loves cars, no matter how old you are. It doesn't matter what color skin you have or what part of the city you live in."


Elijah got his picture taken on an Oxnard Police Motorcycle with officers helping him.


"He loves firemen and police officers," Gina said. "Elijah has known our chief Scott since he was little. We love being involved in the community and teaching him to be involved in the community."


Councilman Bert Perello was enjoying the event and taking pictures of many cars.


"It's fortunate for Oxnard residents because they don't have to travel far to see this quality of cars," he said. "It's a free event. There are other places they can go, but there is a large price to get there. You're getting first-class entertainment here for free."


The event covers all ethnics, he said, including low riders, antique hot rods, and the craftsmanship is tremendous.


"Just with the engraving on the wheels, somebody spent a lot of time and money," Perello said.


He was grateful that the police, and not the council, was sitting in the dunk tank.


"I didn't sign up, and I'm not planning too," he laughed.

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