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Pasadena celebrates ‘National Night Out’

Published on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 | 6:37 am
 

Under warm summer skies in front of Pasadena Police Department headquarters and at block parties across the city, hundreds of local residents joined cities across the nation Tuesday in celebrating “National Night Out,” which not only celebrates safe neighborhoods but offers a chance for locals to meet members of local law enforcement in a casual setting.

For many,  it was their first large community gathering since the slow winding down of the COVID-19 pandemic began some months ago.

Members of a number of City departments, from Fire to Library to Public Works, and Public Health, greeted neighbors and friends as they distributed information.

Police officers also help prepare and serve the free food served during the early evening event.

As Interim Pasadena Police Chief Jason Clawson told Pasadena Now “National Night Out is the police department’s commitment  to bring the community and the police department together and not just officers, but police employees, the dispatchers, the helicopter mechanics, officers who work the front line, supervisors, everyone, all meeting with the community.” 

First begun in 1984, National Night Out is billed as “America’s night out against crime.” It is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch as well as local municipalities and law enforcement agencies nationwide.

Over the years, the event has grown to include block parties. During the event, residents are encouraged to lock their doors, turn on their front house lights and join with neighbors, law enforcement and Neighborhood Watch leaders at local neighborhood events. Activities vary traditionally include food, police and fire department displays, live entertainment and a chance to interact with city officials.

Clawson also noted the number of block parties throughout the City honoring the day, and emphasized the community nature of the event, saying, “Those are even more opportunities for our officers to get out there in the community and have access. A lot of people want access to our police department and this is one way you can get to meet me, to get to know me, and if you have a question, just call me, I’ll be happy to help.”

Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo also emphasized the “strength in community” approach to neighborhoods, saying “The message on ‘National Night Out,’ is that we are all stronger when we are working together.”

“Instead of once a year, ‘National Night Out’ should be every night that we take care of our neighbors, look out for our neighbors, and just give a friendly smile.”

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