The Pasadena Police Department considers this year’s National Night Out “more important than ever” as it seeks to strengthen community trust. The event kicks off Tuesday night at Villa Parke, 363 East Villa Street, Pasadena at 5 p.m. and will be reflected in 16 smaller neighborhood gatherings throughout the city immediately thereafter.
National Night Out is held each August throughout the United States where officers engage with communities through informal meet and greet events, usually with food and children’s activities.
“This year’s NNO is more important than ever before. It allows our residents the chance to get to really know their officers, ask important questions, but most of all have true discussions so they understand the care and compassion of their officers,” Pasadena Chief of Police John Perez said Friday.
“I know we will always be judged by individualized events when there is a tragedy,” Perez said, continuing to say that outstanding police work being performed is often overlooked.
“We have done so much prior to 2020 in creating reform through re-invention, redesigning, and innovation to change decades of policing strategies.”
Police Commander Mark Goodman told Pasadena Now that the overriding goal of holding National Night Out is to strengthen community trust, which he called the cornerstone of community policing.
“Families are absolutely welcome and it’s just a great opportunity for our community members to interact with each other and members of our police department and members of many of our other city departments,” Goodman said.
Goodman encouraged families to join the events and bring children. The events will be held outdoors.
At the Villa Parke kickoff event, police volunteers will prepare a community barbeque, with food served at no cost.
A mobile command post and at least 10 information tables from various city departments and organizations will also be set up to provide resources, outreach and educational materials to community members, according to Goodman.
“Our community members might find services that are appealing to them at National Night Out. And it’s just a good opportunity to get outside and have a good time with your neighbors in different departments of the city,” he said.
The City’s Fire Department will also be participating in National Night Out.
Fire Chief Chad Augustin said firefighters and paramedics will spread out to 16 different locations throughout Pasadena for the celebration of the annual event. His entire executive team will fan out to NNO events across the city, he said.
“This is Chief Augustin’s first NNO in Pasadena so I know he’ll try to visit as many locations as possible,” said city spokesperson Lisa Derderian. “The Fire Department. greatly values their relationship with the Police Department and collaborates with them on a daily basis responding to incidents, hosting special events and training.”
“NNO is all about neighbors coming together and from a Fire Dept. perspective that’s a priority.”
For information about how you and your family can participate, call (626) 744-4551.