Written by Phil Cerroni
National Night Out builds communities however it can
Three communities offer three distinct solutions. National Night Out (Oct. 1 in Texas, Aug. 6 in the rest of the U.S.) can easily become a trite affair where energetic block captains present information to a small, equally energetic band of neighbors, who already know the issues, without ever reaching the neighborhood at large.
Three very different events, two in south Irving and one in the north, represented very different strategies used to reach communities in very disparate neighborhoods.
Two dozen or so white-backed, folding chairs faced an easel pad in one of the activity rooms at Georgia Farrow Recreation Center where Jan Killen, the impromptu neighborhood coordinator for the roughly 220 homes in the Town Lake II development, meticulously set out fliers for document shredding events and town hall meetings. Three police officers stood chatting in a little group as they waited for residents to filter in.
An older development, Killen said Town Lake has a small but civic minded core that looks out for the neighborhood and keeps each other informed on what is going on. Her presentation provided a lot of information from both herself and the police. One of the tools, Killen shared about was HYPERLINK "http://Nextdoor.com"Nextdoor.com, a secure social media site for communities, kind of a neighborhood Facebook.
Irving PD’s Capt. Brian Redburn said this setup really allows beat officers to get face time with their community.
“This is a great opportunity to interact with the citizens we serve, kind of get together for a common purpose and just talk about the issues that are going on in the individual neighborhoods and work to a solution together,” Redburn said.