Neighborhoods throughout Leander and Cedar Park are joining forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the National Night Out 2017 event.
Next Tuesday, Oct. 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. Cedar Park and Leander will host the citywide National Night Out event spanning more than 37 registered neighborhoods. Altogether, thousands of community members, police officers, firefighters, city staff, volunteers and Williamson County staff will participate in this year’s event.
The event has become the night the community celebrates the partnership between police and community, said Leander Police Chief Greg Minton.
“No police department can police their community alone, it requires the voluntary support and involvement of their community,” Minton said. “That is why National Night Out is so important to the City of Leander and the Leander Police Department.”
The idea is to get hosting neighborhoods out of their homes, getting to know their neighbors with barbecues and block parties, as well as take the opportunity to meet with the city law enforcement and get to know them as people and community members.
“Leander is one of the fastest growing communities, in one of the fastest growing regions in the United States,” said Asst. Chief Jeff Hayes. “With that comes a challenging task of staying intimately connected with our community in a meaningful way. Staying connected in ways that foster personal relationships between officers and the community they serve, and staying connected in ways that make our law enforcement function more focused and effective.”
Part of what makes the event special is the opportunity to meet with citizens socially, something most police officers don’t often get the chance, said Cedar Park Police Chief Sean Mannix.
“It’s a positive interaction between police and the community and we get to visit with folks under circumstances we wouldn’t otherwise have,” Mannix said. “We get to explore their role as community crime watchers, too, y’know, see something, say something, and being comfortable with reporting crimes.”
Several Cedar Park City Council are planning on doing ride alongs with police to the different communities, too, Mannix said.
National Night Out was established in 1984 as a time to celebrate police and community partnerships and promote crime prevention efforts. Cedar Park and Leander have hosted the annual event for more than a decade and last year Leander received national recognition for participation, placing no. 2 in Texas and no. 16 in the nation for cities with populations between 15,000 and 49,000.