Cleveland police officers were out in force Tuesday night, Oct. 2, for National Night Out, an annual event held to strengthen the relationships between police and the communities they serve.
Officers visited senior citizens who live at Azalea Terrace and stopped to greet residents at apartment complexes and homes as they made their way around the city. Children were given an opportunity to visit with police officers and get an up-close view of a patrol car. They were presented with badge stickers, coloring pages and other items by the officers.
In the Circle Drive community, officers were treated to free hot dogs at a block party hosted by Josh and Victoria Good, and Niki and Teresa Coats. Neighbors and police enjoyed their meal at picnic tables the Goods had provided for their guests.
Victoria Good estimates that 30 or so people attended the block party.
“Even in a neighborhood where I thought everyone knew each other, I was surprised that a lot of introductions happened. Everyone loved the idea of building a stronger community where we live and being able to watch out for each other in the future,” she said.
According to a statement prior to the event, National Night Out heightens crime prevention awareness, and generates local support of anti-crime programs. Police agencies nationwide believe this is a positive way to strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community relations, and sends a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
After the event, Capt. Scott Felts, spokesperson for Cleveland PD, told the Goods, “The officers and I enjoyed meeting with everyone. It’s not often we meet with a group of people who are supportive of us, usually the circumstances are much different. With today’s environment, these types of events are more important than ever. You are a wonderful host and we are defiantly down for coming back next year if you host again. It was very thoughtful of everyone who showed up and I am very glad the officers were able to experience this welcoming environment.”
By Vanesa Brashier, editor@BluebonnetNews.com
Photos courtesy of Victoria Good