National Night Out
Law enforcement agencies and firefighters around the region were out in force on Aug. 2.
National Night Out enjoyed relatively mild weather for this year's block parties, which saw neighbors gather in a variety of places while police and fire department crews turned up to greet and chat with locals.
Woodburn saw 12 gatherings located in all reaches of the city, including apartment complexes, churches and Senior Estates. Hubbard registered a half-dozen block parties, including a substantial gathering at Kari Park, while Gervais folks turned out at the Community Park to mingle and nosh on tasty fare that included produce (watermelon, cucumber chips and corn on the cob) that reportedly came in fresh from Bauman Farms.
Perhaps the largest per-capita participation was in Monitor where the area's firefighters hosted the surrounding community in a table-filling turnout, enjoying a full meal and visiting with Marion County Sheriff's Office deputies.
Woodburn Police Chief Marty Pilcher said his department dispatched 17 officers to visit with the various block parties, and they were helped out by local firefighters.
"Woodburn had 15 career and volunteer firefighters participating in National Night Out events in Woodburn and Gervais," Woodburn Fire District Chief Joe Budge said. "They visited all locations where NNO parties were assembled."
Hubbard also had a substantial public safety turnout, including the balance of Hubbard Police Department and a full crew of firefighters.
"All six of us were out," Hubbard Police Chief Dave Rash said. "We have six block parties, and they were all well attended. Hubbard Fire was out in full force as well. It was a great evening for all."
Youngsters were especially fascinated with the fire apparatus.
"We had a good amount of people; all of our career and seasonal staff along with 10 volunteers," Hubbard Fire Shift Officer Anthony Temple said. "We had kids playing with our tools, messing with the sirens and playing with the lights — all of the things kids like to do."
A similar scenario unfolded at Gervais Community Park where, at Police Chief Mark Chase's behest, there was a strong D.A.R.E. presence. Youngsters also were afforded the opportunity to try out a stationary police bicycle with emergency lights.
As the name suggests, NNO is a nationwide community-building campaign that encourages neighborhoods to register, hold block parties — sometimes even shutting down entire streets — while they gather, visit, enjoy something to eat and receive visits from local law enforcement and other public safety personnel. Always on the second Tuesday in August, the campaign aims to make neighborhoods and communities safer.
View an area National Night Out photo gallery at www.facebook.com/WoodburnIndependent
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