By Jason KUROSU
In 1984, National Night Out was held for the first time, a community event organized between law enforcement officials and local residents, endorsing neighborhood involvement in crime prevention and safety within the community. Aug. 6 marks the 30th anniversary of National Night Out, which has spread into a nationwide campaign for public safety and increased communication between residents and authorities.
According to Sgt. John Gilkerson of the Glendale Police Dept., there will be 52 National Night Out events throughout Glendale, though “that number is certainly liable to expand” before the event begins on Tuesday, said Gilkerson.
Five of the events currently are listed within the foothills.
Though the focus of National Night Out is on crime prevention, the event is no stern lecture. Often neighbors will gather at parks or a house on their block and hold a barbecue or potluck. Police and other law enforcement officials will stop by and join in the festivities.
One of Gilkerson’s duties is making sure there is a Glendale police presence at every event. For that reason, though there is no limit on how late someone might want to organize an event, it is requested that any event organizers notify the Glendale Police Dept. of their event.
The expansion of Glendale National Night Out events has increased yearly, starting with only one such event in 2008, which was hosted solely by the police department, before the involvement of residents became more widespread. Gilkerson has coordinated the event since 2008 and watched participation grow.
Glendale police have held planning meetings for residents and business owners in the months leading up to National Night Out, most recently on July 18.
Some of the residents attending the meetings were “returning hosts, but some were brand new,” said Gilkerson.
Though the number of participants has expanded, Gilkerson said “We’re still pushing the same message.”
If you would like to register for a National Night Out event, visit www.glendalenno.com.
La Crescenta events include Church of the Valley at 2817 Montrose Ave., the block of Oak Circle Drive off Rosemont Avenue south of Honolulu Avenue, Oakmont Association in the 900 block of Eilinta Avenue and the Twelve Oaks Lodge at 2820 Sycamore Ave. The sheriffs are holding an event at the Ralphs Marketplace parking lot in the 2600 block of Foothill Boulevard. In north Glendale, there is a NNO event at Sparr Boulevard and Vickers Street.