Flagstaff first responders, community celebrate National Night Out
Hundreds of people dodged puddles in the Flagstaff City Hall parking lot to share a meal, do a little mingling, and find out more about the city’s network of first responders while the Flagstaff Community Band played out everything from the national anthem to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the background.
Hosted by Flagstaff Police Department in partnership with the National Association of Town Watch campaign, National Night Out is a nationwide effort to prevent crime by building partnerships between law enforcement officers and the community members they serve.
“It is important to take a day and recognize how important law enforcement is to our community and show our officers how much we appreciate them,” said Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours. “I know the law officers feel the same way about showing the citizens how much they appreciate them, as well.”
National Night Out’s goals include heightening crime prevention awareness, generating support for local anticrime programs, and strengthening neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships. But perhaps the biggest goal is the message that crime is not welcome in Flagstaff.
Police Chief Kevin Treadway said National Night Out is an event he looks forward to every year.
“It’s really about people coming out and getting to know their police officers and other first responders,” Treadway said. “And it certainly is a chance for use to talk to our citizens. Plus, it gives us an opportunity to serve dinner. We really enjoy this event.”
Northern Arizona University Police Department, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office were all represented, along with other local first responders and service agencies. Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jim Driscoll said the event helps raise awareness about volunteer programs like his agency’s Search and Rescue Unit and Community Emergency Response Teams.
“We’re always seeking new members for both,” Driscoll said. “We’re also able to showcase the services that we provide. They’re both volunteer services that assist our department and the community. I think that’s why they fit so well into National Night Out, that ability to be engaged with what goes on in your community.”