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Representatives from CDCR’s emergency response teams will share information and demonstrations.

Cal OES events

Cal OES Day of Preparedness — When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8; Where: Old Town Sacramento  …  Cal OES Open House and Family Day — When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20; Where: 3650 Schriever Ave., Mather; Info:

Story by OPEC staff
Photos courtesy Cal OES

CDCR will participate in the 13th annual California Day of Preparedness on Sept. 8, an event hosted by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).

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Officer Rosario demonstrates how CDCR K-9s are rewarded for sniffing out contraband – a play session with their beloved tug toy.

Each September, Cal OES, statewide government departments and community-based organizations participate in the Day of Preparedness as part of National Preparedness Month. The free public event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in historic Old Sacramento. Attendees will find resource booths offering vital information about staying prepared for emergencies. Visitors can also watch a variety of disaster readiness demonstrations, including water rescues, and see search and rescue dogs in action. To top it off, the event will include music and food.

CDCR correctional and non-custody staff are trained to be prepared for and respond to emergencies in institutions and California communities. This year, the department will be represented by staff from the Emergency Planning and Management Unit (EPMU), Crisis Response Teams (CRT) and K-9 units.

“When disaster strikes, emergency response is all hands on deck,” said Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. “Resources and support from our partner agencies, such as CDCR, is part of what makes California one of the most prepared and resilient states in the nation.”

K-9 officers and their four-legged partners will demonstrate the contraband-busting skills of several highly trained dogs, who can sniff out not only dangerous drugs, but also cellphones hidden inside cells and other areas of institutions. Currently, 58 K-9 teams patrol our institutions, and we expect to see that increase to 76 statewide this year. From January 2014 to March 31, 2018, our K-9 teams found more than 6,000 cellphones, 16 pounds of heroin, 31 pounds of meth, 145 pounds of marijuana and 633 pounds of tobacco.

EPMU, a sub-unit of CDCR’s Office of Correctional Safety, oversees special operations within the department, including special transports, hostage rescue, riot suppression, firearms, less lethal weapons and armories, critical incident response and protective vests.

CRTs are trained throughout California to provide immediate support for critical situations in institutions and communities, including shootings, large-scale riots, hostage situations and other major disturbances.

In addition to CDCR, numerous community partners will share their expertise and tips on preparedness, including CAL FIRE, the American Red Cross, Caltrans, California Earthquake Authority, California National Guard, state and local law enforcement, and many more.

On Sept. 20, Cal OES will host an Open House and Family Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cal OES Headquarters, 3650 Schriever Ave., Mather. The day will include tours of the State Operations Center, exhibits and displays and the chance to meet emergency responders, learn about careers in the emergency preparedness field, and participate in children’s activities.

For more information about either event, visit

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A live water rescue demonstration is a highlight of the Day of Preparedness event.