Pasadena’s National Night Out a Success

Enjoying the event: Alexis Davis, age 5, Camille Davis, age 6, and Pershia Houston, age 5Marchell Parker and Angel Magdaleno at the Kings Villages eventChalk artists Nicole Mendoza and Sandra Garbay chalked a mural for the children to show its safe to play day or night in the neighborhood.\Performers filled the night with musicPasadena Police allowed the public to view a command station at the event on Sunset Ave.

Article and Photography by RACHEL YOUNG

7:00 am | August 7, 2013


The smell of grilled hotdogs, hamburgers and fresh popcorn wafted into the Pasadena air Tuesday evening Aug. 6, luring neighbors out to join the closest neighborhood celebration of National Night Out.

Pasadena neighborhoods joined more than 10,000 communities across America in celebrating the 30th National Night Out. The police department collaborated with Kings Villages to host the main kick-off event on Hammond Street as well as support the nearly 20 other parties happening around town.

“We come out to remind everybody of the quality of neighborhood and for people to reintroduce themselves to their neighbors that they haven’t seen in a while and introduce themselves to new neighbors and to feel safe and secure in their own community,” City Manager Michael Beck said.

National Association of Town Watch, a non-profit, created National Night Out 30 years ago to strengthen police and community relationships. The night also brings the neighborhood spirits up and sends a message to criminals that neighbors are aware and going to take action against drugs and crime.

The police department and fire department along with city officials hopped between parties, trying to represent at each one that they are available and open for conversation. Police Chief Phillip Sanchez attended at least six of the “block” parties.

“At this event there’s no titles, everyone’s a community member,” Manager of the Jackie Robinson Center Jarvis Emerson said.

At the main kickoff event kids could participate in face painting, hula hooping, snow cone eating and more. Several community members set up booths including a booth at every event for kid finger printing and parental advice for crime prevention.

At another event on Sunset, chalk artists chalked a mural of kids playing both at night and day to encourage kids the neighborhood was always safe. The kids became involved in an Elvis performance and were able to peek inside a mobile police command station.

Mayor Bill Bogaard, City Manager Michael Beck, Police Chief Phillip Sanchez, Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Costa, and City councilmember John Kennedy among others helped kick the whole evening off on Hammond.

“National night out really is about a collaborative effort to build relationships with our community so that we can help protect ourselves and create a safe environment to maintain a heightened quality of life. The simple reality is that we need to do a better job of harnessing the collective awareness of our community,” commented Police Chief Phillip Sanchez.

Sanchez encourages anyone who sees something to say something. For emergencies call 911, but to report suspicious behavior you could also call (626) 744-4841.

“Look around, We’ve got chalk artists, we’ve got barbeque. They don’t care what socioeconomic background is, and we have children out here, that’s the greatest example of diversity and acceptance. We could take a lot of examples from our children,” Sanchez said.