It was a night for neighbors to mingle and police officers to dispatch important crime- and drug-prevention information.
In Bothell, officers visited with residents who opened up their front yards for National Night Out on Aug. 7. Both Kelly Avery Clark and Jeannie D’Ambrosia met with Sgt. Clint Beck and others at their homes around town to discuss safety issues.
Over at Kenmore City Hall, the police department hosted a Night Out gathering for community members that featured members of the Northshore Fire Department, King County Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Services Coordinating Agency (ESCA), King County Sexual Assault Resource Center and other organizations.
Millions of people around the United States participated in the 29th annual event, which is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch.
“The reason I pulled a National Night Out get-together for our street is because I was thrilled that Bothell was returning to the neighborhood gatherings again,” said Clark. “National Night Out was created to help neighbors get to know each other, look out for each other and band together to fight crime and partner up with local police to do so. Neighborhood events bring it all back home where it should be.”
D’Ambrosia, who held an ice-cream social at her home, said she was glad that Beck and company made an appearance and reinforced the neighbors-helping-neighbors scenario.
As curious kids and their parents checked out a fire truck, SWAT rescue truck and bomb-disposal-unit truck (including a bomb-searching robot) at Kenmore City Hall, officer Mark Childers — a 27-year law-enforcement veteran — surveyed the scene with a satisfied look on his face. Getting the plethora of organizations together in one place on Night Out is a bonus, he said.
“We’re trying to make our community safer,” said Childers, adding that people asked him at the event if he could attend upcoming neighborhood-block events and give safety tips.
One Kenmore resident, who spoke anonymously, said she appreciates the sense of community in her city and was glad to see her next-door neighbor at the event. As she closely kept an eye on her son climbing into the bomb truck, she added: “Our son really wanted to come and see all the (police and fire) vehicles and the robot and meet our firefighters and police officers.”
ESCA’s Chandra Fox, who passed out brochures and answered residents’ questions at her table, said that safety starts at home.
“It’s important to know where your water is stored and to be able to find your supply in an emergency,” she said of one of many tips, including having a first-aid kit, spare clothes and non-perishable foods at the ready.
Fox added that some people may be intimidated about organizing their must-haves for an emergency situation. It may seem cumbersome, but Fox said that if all family members lend a hand, it’s easy to achieve.