By Brian CHESNICK, Mary O’KEEFE and Charly SHELTON
Hot and humid weather couldn’t keep residents away from meeting and greeting Glendale’s finest for National Night Out on Tuesday evening. The annual event brought together police, firefighters and families to strengthen relationships and to put a face on those who live to protect and serve.
National Night Out – which has been held on the first Tuesday of August since 1984 – aims to build solidarity among residents and safety personnel as well as awareness of crime throughout the community.
Retired LAUSD school teacher Clara Rossi welcomed each visitor and officer to Casa Adobe with a healthy helping of her family’s ziti pasta and chatted with other locals as they relaxed on the park benches.
Glendale hosted over 20 NNO locations throughout the city from as far north as the Crescenta Highlands to as far south as Adams Square.
“We like to come out and talk to the people in the neighborhood,” GPD Officer Wessel explained. “We make our rounds to different locations within our area throughout the night.”
Wessel was joined by Officers De Hard and Urquilla, along with two Explorer recruits – Allen and Connor – who aspire to become FBI agents and state troopers.
The picnic-in-the-park vibe – with snacks and drinks provided by community members – created a perfect environment for parents to bring their kids to play in the park.
“It’s nice to have the kids come out to meet us,” Officer Urquilla said, “so that they know we’re not robots and just people with normal jobs.”
Elsewhere, NNO events were held at Bolton Hall and Little Landers Park in Tujunga. The event encouraged Sunland-Tujunga neighbors to come out to get to know one another and their local law enforcement officers. The Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council provided a free dinner of hot dogs and hamburgers for all attendees, as well as various other homemade dishes brought out for the event. Local businesses, including Backdoor Bakery and Joselito’s, donated food as well.
In Sparr Heights, the neighbors of the 3400 and 3500 blocks of Buena Vista Avenue, on either side of the intersection of Sunview Drive, got together for their own NNO.
“We’ve had a bit of crime over the last couple of years, and I was getting frustrated with the sense of apathy and indifference. I thought, ‘We have to do something; we have to come together and get to know each other better,’” said resident Ron Scott. “So I connected up with the Glendale Police Dept., and they provided some resources. It was just a matter of putting a little marketing campaign together and passing out flyers, talking to neighbors to come out and here we are.”
The unincorporated areas of Los Angeles – La Crescenta and La Cañada – gathered at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station on Briggs Avenue. There were booths from the community set up, including one from Wells Fargo, whose representatives spoke about identity theft. CERT – Community Emergency Response Team – members and ham radio operators were also on hand. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. was well represented by deputies, volunteers, members of the Sheriff’s Support Group and the Montrose Search and Rescue team. Capt. Christopher Blasnek also greeted attendees.
Miss La Cañada Flintridge, Sarah Ann Settles, and Sara Kahn, a member of the royal court, were also at the Briggs Station.
Kahn said that her parents have called her a princess since she was a little girl, so trying out for Miss La Cañada Flintridge seemed like a natural step.
“I want to be an entrepreneur, so that was my main motivation,” Kahn said.
She had seen how previous royal courts attended different events throughout the community and wanted to be part of that.
In the area near Sycamore Avenue, neighbors gathered at the Crescenta Valley Water District. Glendale police were on hand, as were representatives from the CVWD and Twelve Oaks Assisted Living.
Dee Robertson, Community Relations director of Twelve Oaks Assisted Living, announced that residents might be moving into the facility as early as October of this year.
“We will be opening a memory care and assisted living [facility]. This will be the first time Twelve Oaks is having memory care. There are 12 rooms, and we will have 18 residents living in our memory care,” she said.
There will be about 25 assisted living apartments that will provide all levels of care, from medication management to two-person assists for those who need help getting in and out of a chair or bed.
“One of the residents who was at Twelve Oaks [before] will be coming back. It is the gentleman who lived in the apartment that is now our office,” Robertson said.
Twelve Oaks was an active assisted living facility when it was abruptly closed by the company that was then managing the facility. After litigation, the property was transferred to the original organization that owned it. The facility is in the process of being remodeled.
For more photos, visit www.cvweekly.com/NEWS.
Photos by Brian CHESNICK,
Mary O’KEEFE and