The Burbank Police Department Welcomes The Community For A Unifying National Night Out 2023

National Night Out gathering at Victory Park hosed by community members. (Photo Courtesy Laura Frutos)

The Burbank Police Department joined with locals as it hosted a successful National Night Out on Tuesday, August 1. 

For Burbank’s NNO, the hub of the festivity is Johnny Carson Park. Here, BPD vintage cars, the Bearcat, motorcycles, a canine truck, and a jail van were present for attendees to view. A variety of the department’s representatives, from new officers and reserve officers to explorers and cadets, to leaders of the BPD Traffic Bureau and the award-winning Mental Health Evaluation Team, shared friendly interactions with guests.

Burbank Police Chief Mike Albanese described the cheerful mood of NNO as Burbankers and law enforcement officers conversed amid the unifying summertime ceremony. 

“It’s awesome. It’s very festive. It’s very welcoming,” Albanese said of NNO. “And it is clear that the community likes gathering together. When you look at this crowd and the number of folks that are participating here, as far as displays and all of that, it’s pretty awesome.”

About 50 organizations set up tents on the lawn of Johnny Carson Park. These included Elevate Burbank, Providence, Burbank Public Works, the Burbank Police Foundation, the Kiwanis Club of Burbank, the City of Burbank, and the Boys and Girls Club of Burbank & Greater East Valley.  

Food and refreshments were available, and a giveaway opportunity at the Burbank Police Foundation booth offered visitors a chance to win an iPad from Turner Techtronics, Inc. or a new bike from Walmart. 

Burbank Police Department Public Information Officer Sergeant Stephen Turner detailed how National Night Out allows civilians to chat with local police officers and learn more about the BPD in a relaxed setting. 

“I think it’s hugely important because it’s a chance for the community to come out and talk to us one-on-one, see us in a different environment, see us have a little more casual conversation, and especially see the different jobs and roles that we serve at the police department,” Burke said. He added, “It’s always good. We have the ability, and we’re fortunate enough to do it. It’s a great event.”

Aside from this gathering, members of the legendary Road Kings Car Club assembled with their classic cars for a shindig at Vickroy Park. Furthermore, 10 Burbank neighborhoods hosted individual block parties. 

At one lively celebration, resident Ashley Erikson led a get-together that had a “Prehistoric Party” theme, complete with activities such as “dino bowling” and “dino toss,” plus a “Jurassic Park” photo op area, and two dinosaur mascots. Face painting, balloon animals, and food trucks with tasty bites were other family-friendly features of the occasion. Erikson opened up about the camaraderie that emerges as neighbors become better acquainted at these annual themed parties.

“It’s so exciting because we always meet new neighbors and new people that have been in the neighborhood that don’t hear about it. They come out, and it’s been so amazing to meet them,” Erikson said. “To be together again, with the kids just running around in a safe area from house to house without having to worry about them, just feels really good. And everyone pulls together to make such a great event.” 

Fire Chief Eric Garcia and other employees from the Burbank Fire Department likewise partook in NNO. All of the department’s fire engines were brought out, as were their fire trucks. Numerous BFD officers appeared at block parties and Johnny Carson Park, where staffers from the Fire Prevention Bureau presented a booth.

“It’s a great opportunity to get out and talk to people in the community and share what we offer to the public and also to be out here with the police department and support their event,” Burbank Fire Department Public Information Officer Battalion Chief Dave Burke said. 

Albanese and some of his BPD colleagues also stopped by a few neighborhood parties in the evening to finish off NNO with more positive exchanges. 

“Folks are having a great time, and they’re smiling. It’s an opportunity to see folks we haven’t seen in a while, and it’s been great,” Albanese said.