Neighborhood streets in Lakewood, University Place, Steilacoom, DuPont and Fircrest were filled with the sweet smell of barbecue and the sound of children’s laughter as thousands of people gathered for the annual National Night Out Against Crime on Aug. 2.
Lakewood’s elected officials, along with representatives from McChord AFB, Fort Lewis,
Puget Sound Energy, and the Attorney General’s Office, visited the city’s 33 registered events. The Pierce County
Department of Emergency Management provided its “TAC ONE” command post
vehicle for the night. A record three apartment complexes in the
traditionally crime-riddled Springbrook area held NNO events, possibly signaling a shift in attitudes of the people living there. Eight of the 33 hosts
were first-timers. Several of the
venues featured live music and other entertainment, including a
talented Elvis impersonator! This was the eighth year that Mike and
Sharron Kanter coordinated the Lakewood National Night Out event.
In University Place, more than 30 neighborhoods, including nearly 1,000
citizens, participated in block parties and backyard barbecues, taking
the opportunity to meet each other and build relationships that will
lead to reduced crime all over the city. University Place Police
and Fire departments spearheaded a caravan of City Council members,
fire officials, police officers and other city staff to visit each
neighborhood. At each location, fire and police vehicles converged on
the block party with sirens blaring and lights flashing. Children and
adults were given a chance to tour the vehicles and talk with fire and
police personnel about what they do every day. Citizens also got the
chance to bring issues of importance up to City Council members face to
face in a comfortable setting.