National Night Out – the 25th year in which police agencies and local governments nationally and locally encourage neighbors to work together to prevent crime – was observed Tuesday in Maple Valley, Covington and Black Diamond.
Activities started anywhere from 5 to 7 p.m. and lasted for several hours. The goal of all the events was to help people meet and know their neighbors and fellow city residents, plus become familiar with police officers and other community servants.
Lake Wilderness Park was the site of activities in Maple Valley. A free dinner was served by the Soup Ladies, a group of volunteers who normally cook for emergency workers. And police officers, fire department representatives and other members of the community mingled.
In Covington, block parties were in vogue. The Foxwood neighborhood staged a bike rodeo and parade, among other activities, starting at 7 p.m. Mayor Margaret Harto was on hand, as well. According to police chief Kevin Klason, who made the rounds with his officers, the Stonefield neighborhood also organized a party, as did residents on 168th Place Southeast and 187th Place Southeast.
Black Diamond Community Center was the scene of a communitywide party that included a barbecue. Police officers, including the K-9 unit, were on hand with patrol vehicles for kids to inspect, as were firefighters and fire trucks from Mountain View Fire and Rescue.
On a larger scale, National Night Out (NNO) – sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch in Wynnewood, Pa. – involves about 10,000 communities and 35 million people in the U.S. and Canada, according to association leaders. NNO annually offers advice on types of events and how to organize them at its Web site (www.nationaltownwatch.org).