Beaverton's National Night Out is a community-wide event
Hundreds of residents learned about their public safety workers — and kept their kids amused — in a community-wide celebration of National Night Out at Beaverton City Park.
Many communities have neighborhood events on National Night Out, which dates back to 1984, and Beaverton city staff link up residents with their neighborhood association committees.
Beaverton also was one of 34 U.S. communities honored last year for its extensive use of the Nextdoor app, a private social network that allows residents and police to communicate on a neighborhood basis.
"This is a great night for the police and community to come out and get to know each other, develop important partnerships and make our community safer," interim Police Chief Ronda Groshong said.
Beaverton's community-wide celebration on Tuesday, Aug. 6, drew public and private exhibitors. Among them were the Beaverton Police Department and cadets, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency, Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District, and even the FBI and Oregon National Guard.
"This is a national celebration to thank the men and women who serve us 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year," Mayor Denny Doyle said.
"Together we are sending a message to the world that Beaverton is a safe city, a responsive city and a welcoming city.
"Everyone counts in Beaverton. But only by working together do you and the police department make that happen."
Also among those in attendance were Councilors Cate Arnold, Laura Mitchell and Marc San Soucie.
Action and advice
Three Beaverton officers — Dan Coulson, Jared Lutu and trainer Tony Bastinelli — demonstrated their police dogs in action detecting human and narcotic scents and defending police against assailants.
While that demonstration drew the most attention, police and other agencies were busy informing residents of other services, such as safety for child passengers.
Traffic Sgt. Bryan Dalton explained the fine points of how parents can provide safety for children under age 12 when they ride in cars.
Oregon law requires children under age 2 to ride only in rear-facing car seats, then forward-facing car seats with a harness and tether, then booster seats until children can fit properly in adult seat belts â€“ all in the rear of a car.
"When you go from a child safety seat to a booster, height and weight are so much more important than anything else," not age, Dalton said.
Because many child seats are installed incorrectly â€“ some estimates put it at 85% -- Beaverton police offer free clinics fro, 9 to 11:30 a.m. the third Saturday of the month at Kuni Auto Center, 3725 S.W. Cedar Hills Blvd. Clinics are free, and they are first-come, first-served; no appointments are taken.
Remaining dates this year are Aug. 17, Sept. 21, Oct. 19, Nov. 16 and Dec. 21.
Dalton said the primary purpose of the clinics is not for police to install child seats properly, but for parents to learn how to do it right.
"We try to make it educational, because we are not going to be there every time parents put their kids in a car seat," he said.
But Dalton said he sees adults who get the seat belts wrong for themselves.
"When I see some adults driving on the road with their seat belts crushed against their necks, it's not going to do them any good if they get into a crash," he said.
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