Talon News - Good Local News

By Jacque Ritchie



This year Aztec will celebrate the 16th Annual National Night Out on Tuesday July 17, at Minium Park at 5:00. APD Spokeperson Sherri Gurule said there will be around 115 vendors, live music and plenty of fun for kids of all ages.

"Especially, for small communities...an event like National Night Out is an important relationship building tool," said Bloomfield Police School Resource Officer Derek Booker, "It's important for the public to see us in a positive social setting and not just in a law-enforcement setting...We are not just about putting hand-cuffs on people." Booker explained that participating in National Night Out was an effective way to get the word out about the character/life skill building youth programs offered by BPD, "People need to understand we are a resource that the community can call on."

In an effort to encourage thoughtful and productive intercourse between law enforcement and the public the National Night Out (NNO) was originally established in 1984. Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch during the first NNO people were simply encouraged to sit on their porches and front steps with their lights on. Reportedly, 2.5 million residents in 400 communities across 23 states participated on that first summer evening. The event has grown steadily ever since. In 2016, an estimated 38 million residents in 16,000 communities in every state got off their porches and came out to participate in National Night Out festivals, block parties and barbeques.

Last year Aztec Police Department hosted the festival that saw hundreds of residents and over 100 vendors including local businesses and service providers, live music, face painting, Native American dance troups and free food and drinks. Not surprisingly, the Minium Park event was a huge success.

Aztec Police Chief Mike Heal stopped by TALON and commented on the upcoming NNO festival, "National Night Out is a great opportunity for police officers to get together with citizens and local business owners...when we get together, it tells the criminals that, 'they are not welcome here, we'll give you the boot'" Heal was confident that this summers event will be a success, "It's a really popular well-attended event...I'm confident this year is going to be even bigger than last year."


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