I can say that, without a doubt, one of my favorite annual events in University Place is National Night Out. So I am thrilled that we will be able to join you in celebrating your support for our community-police partnerships again this year on Tuesday, Aug. 3.
There are neighborhoods that I still remember visiting on National Night Out for the first time when I was a sergeant here in U.P. back in 2009. When I returned in 2019 as your chief, I’ll admit that I couldn’t wait to get back out there and visit U.P. neighborhoods again. I was anxious to reconnect with folks…and yes, I admit it: I was also looking forward to some of the amazing food everyone so generously shares with us.
Having served in numerous capacities and locations for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, I know that what we have here in U.P. is special. For a community our size to have the level of participation we do on National Night Out is truly remarkable. In 2018, we had 54 neighborhoods or community groups gather across our eight square miles! There are communities twice our size who don’t get half that level of enthusiasm.
But as you might imagine, trying to make sure our public safety caravans hit 54 neighborhoods in the course of a few hours is a logistical challenge. I am continually amazed that Jennifer Hales, our public safety administrator, manages to make it happen, year after year. As you can imagine, it takes hours and hours of planning to put the puzzle pieces together, which is why it is critical that if your neighborhood would like us to stop by, make sure you register by emailing Jennifer by July 23.
We’ve missed seeing everyone and are anxious to reconnect on Aug. 3. But until then, and as always, stay safe.