Burbank neighborhoods joined more than 16,000 communities around the country to promote police-community partnerships, and a chance to get to know their neighbors through block parties and an event held in the parking lot behind the Police and Fire Departments.
“The National Night Out is a great opportunity for the police to meet, bond, and communicate with those who live and work in the city” said Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse. Chief LaChasse and Deputy Chiefs joined Burbank fire fighters in visiting a large number of block parties throughout the city, meeting citizens, eating great pot luck dinners, and socializing.
At one block party on the 800 block of Verdugo, firefighters from Station 11 took advantage of BBQ, cupcakes, cookies, and soft drinks while meeting neighborhood residents. Judy Andrews, local coordinator of the neighborhood National Association of Town Watch volunteers, noted their “night out” partnership with the Burbank Police is in its 12th year.
“This gives the neighborhood a chance to get out and know each other better, as well as providing an opportunity for us to voice some of our issues directly to the police” continued Andrews.
At a different party on the 1000 block of W. Orange Grove, neighborhood children had fun playing in a bounce house, adults spent the evening catching up on gossip, as well as discussing issues important to the neighborhood. “With our neighborhood watch we all take care of each other” noted one partygoer. “We’ll take care of each other’s homes when traveling or on vacation, take in mail, take care of lawns, and keep our eyes open on the house.”
Other concerns voiced to Burbank Police visitors included the recent increase in speeders on their street, transients hanging in the area, and an apparent increase in crime. However Rachel, a 14 year resident of the block, emphasized the community is very close, “and we still know each other’s names.”
Another block party at the 1st Christian Church at 6th and Angeleno brought church members and local residents together for a great BBQ and fun, while Pete Grant made short work of a hamburger in West Burbank.
According to the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), “NATW is a network of law enforcement agencies, neighborhood watch groups, civic groups, state and regional crime prevention associations and concerned citizens. Through that network, NATW was able to launch the annual National Night Out campaign.”
National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live. Together, we are making that happen.
Back at the police and fire department headquarters, Burbankers were greeted by a number of Burbank city agencies, including Burbank Water and Power, The Burbank Animal Shelter, Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter, the Burbank Fire Corps, police officers and fire fighters, and of course, a wide variety of food. Nothing brings a community together quite like good food on a warm summer evening.
The Burbank Police Department not only took the opportunity with their Fire Department counterparts to visit a number of National Night Out block parties, but also showcased some of their technologies and equipment used to respond to events or incidents that may impact the safety of city residents and visitors.
Of particular pride to Chief LaChasse was the unveiling of Burbank’s new mobile command center. The mobile command center is a state of the art communications facility, with a command staff board room which can move to any location needed to support police activities.
According to the Burbank Police, the city’s Neighborhood Watch program started in 1972 in an effort to encourage citizen partnerships with police to reduce crime in their neighborhoods.
If you would like to start, or join a neighborhood watch program, you can contact Burbank Police Officer Kendrick (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Officer Guillen (email@example.com) for more information.