Find out why you should – and where you can – find a celebration in your neighborhood starting this weekend …
Crime Prevention Coordinator Teri Poppino pauses a moment with Madison South neighbor Geneva McArtor, after helping load National Night Out signs and supplies into her car for the upcoming party at the Benford Condominiums.
Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Starting on Saturday, August 4, and running through August 11, outer East Portlanders will be gathering with their neighbors during “National Night Out Against Crime” (NNO) week again this year.
Across the metropolitan Portland, there will be 158 street parties, park events, Movie in the Park programs, and concerts. Outer East Portland will host many such NNO parties.
“Officially, ‘National Night Out’ falls on the first Tuesday of August,” Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI) Crime Prevention Coordinator Teri Poppino told East Portland News at the City-wide kickoff at their offices on E. Burnside Street on July 31.
“But, these celebrations, parties, and events, are sanctioned – starting the weekend before, until the weekend after,” she added.
It’s important to participate in National Night Out, Poppino continued, “Because it’s the ‘fun part’ of being out in your neighborhood. It’s a time to celebrate coming together, and in doing so, ‘taking back your neighborhood’ from the ‘bad guys’. It’s also a good time to visit with the police officers and firefighters who serve the area.”
The goal of doing this, she said, is that it creates and it creates camaraderie and goodwill.
Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz says she’s learned the value of National Night Out at the “grassroots level”.
Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz joined the conversation.
As commissioner in charge of ONI, Fritz commented, “National Night Out gets better and better every year. It’s great that we have so many parties going on, at which people get together and enjoy their neighborhoods.”
Asked how NNO promotes building a safer city, Fritz responded, “As you know, I’ve come from the grassroots level. Right on my own block, I’ve found that when you really get know your neighbors, you tend to look out for their wellbeing and safety. If you see someone crawling into a neighbor’s window, you’ll know that it’s their son who forgot his key – again – or, that you should call 9-1-1.”
Neighbors, looking out for their neighbors, is a key component of community policing, says Portland Police Chief Mike Reese at the NNO City-wide kickoff.
Also commenting was Portland Police Bureau Chief Mike Reese. “Having more eyes and ears in our hotspots is critical to public safety. I think its incumbent upon all of us to take ownership of public safety. National Night Out is an excellent start.”
Speaking to the NNO Kickoff gathering, Reese added, “I look forward to seeing you at parties next week.”
Find a party – near you …
Here are some of the major gatherings, presented by outer East Portland Neighborhood Associations:
- Saturday, August 4 – Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood National Night Out – Starting at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon, residents of this neighborhood are invited over for free music games and family fun in the park. It’s at Earl Boyles Park, SE 112th & Boise.
- Tuesday, August 7 – Parkrose Heights Neighborhood National Night Out – Their NNO gathering starts at 6:00 p.m. this evening. Volunteers have planned many fun activities, and opportunities to meet public safety officials. It’s at Knott Park, NE 117th & Knott Street.
- Wednesday, August 8 – Glenfair Neighborhood National Night Out – To combine their NNO celebration with a “Movie in the Park” event, they’re holding their event a day later, starting at 6:00 p.m. at Glenfair Park, NE 154th & Couch Street.
- Saturday August 11 – Parkrose Neighborhood National Night Out – This NNO event commences at 3:30 p.m. You’ll find all kinds of free music, games, food and family fun at Rossi Farms, 3939 NE 122nd Avenue.
Looking for more parties, or for more information about Portland’s National Night Out? See the City of Portland website page dedicated to the event: CLICK HERE.
© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News