National Night Out : Joining Together with Your Community
This week’s blog was provided by Michelle Metzger, Local Marketing Coordinator for Smart911 in Nashville, TN.
As Families streamed in from all sides of the parking lot, most walking from their homes with children leading the way laughing and playing with one another, I couldn’t help but think about my experiences growing up and how much my neighborhood influenced my childhood. From running up and down the street, climbing tress, setting up neighborhood lemonade stands to swim team; I always remember a feeling of peace and safety.
On Tuesday, August 6 I had the pleasure of participating in my first “National Night Out”. For thirty years now communities have come together in unity with police to create safer neighborhoods. The National Association of Town Watch’s (NATW) Executive Director, Matt Peskin explains that “It’s a wonderful opportunity for communities nationwide to promote police-community partnerships, crime prevention, and neighborhood camaraderie. While the one night is certainly not an answer to crime, drugs and violence, National Night Out represents the kind of spirit, energy and determination to help make neighborhoods a safer place year round…”
As I witnessed this event take place it made me think about how my life has changed since I began working for public safety. I had never given much thought to all the aspects that are involved in keeping neighborhoods and citizens safe. At this particular event I was able to not only see the Bomb Squad Robot in action but I was also given a personal tour of the newest addition to the task force- the Police Bus. The Police Bus is fully equipped with a mobile booking system, video chat capability where Officers and In-Mates are able to speak with a Judge, and it even contains 3 jail cells.
But the thing that made the biggest impression on me was the neighborhood camaraderie. Seeing these neighborhoods come together to support one another as well as public safety members brought that warm childhood feeling back. Unity for one cause- Fight Crime. Working together. Residents came to say hello, share food and build new friendships in their neighborhood. Many local businesses set up at the event and provided free food, coupons, and community news and event information. Children ran around and played games; there was a helicopter and an ambulance there as well. Even though we had a light drizzle, this event was beautiful and uplifting. Thank you for all the communities members and public safety members for supporting this event and coming together to serve and protect one another.