Watching Over Modesto: National Night Out Brings Neighborhoods Together
By Noel Daniel
For many years, National Night Out has stood as a bastion of neighborhood safety and camaraderie. In fact, it’s one of the largest crime-prevention events in the county. What seems at first to be a simple block party is, in reality, one of our greatest defenses against crime: cooperation.
In fact, the National Night Outs in Modesto are some of the best. In 2016, Modesto placed fifth in the Nation and first in California for cities our size from the National Association of Town Watch.
“National Night Out is a partnership between law enforcement and the community,” said Rosie Garcia, a community service officer who’s worked with the Modesto Police Department for 20 years. “It strengthens neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships. Neighbors get the chance to set aside this day to get together with their neighbors in a fun atmosphere, catch up with long time neighbors and meet new ones.”
Garcia has been involved in planning Modesto’s National Night Outs for several years and has observed the countless benefits. What’s important is that, in addition to bringing neighbors together, it gives law enforcement and city personnel the opportunity to go into neighborhoods and get to interact with the neighbors in friendly conversations and activities.
ALTHOUGH IT’S CERTAINLY IMPRESSIVE THAT OUR NATIONAL NIGHT OUTS HAVE RANKED NATIONALLY, MOST IMPRESSIVE ARE THE PLANNERS AND VOLUNTEERS THAT PUT THEIR HEARTS AND SOULS INTO THE PROJECT: PEOPLE LIKE ROSIE GARCIA, STEPHANY BRAVO, AND TERHESA GAMBOA.
“There are so many long-time neighbors to commend for their organization and participation in National Night Out so really I would like to commend all 184 coordinators who organized their neighbors last year for National Night Out parties,” said Garcia.
Bravo and Gamboa stand out as having some of the largest parties every year in which they partner with many block Captains to organize their neighbors.
“Terhesa and Stephany are a sample of what we see in the neighborhoods of great neighbors who want to do their part in keeping their neighbors organized, communicating, and safe,” said Garcia.
Throughout the year, Modesto Police Department Crime Prevention officers attend neighborhood watch meetings and other community events that teach crime prevention tips, encouraging neighbors to know their neighbors and watch out for each other.
“We have a great partnership with neighbors and businesses. We want to continue that partnership and grow it because it is a proven fact that neighbors who know each other are more apt to keep an eye out for each other,” said Garcia. “Your neighbor can be the best crime prevention tool you have.”
You can register for National Night Out online at www.modestopolice.com under community.