Celebrate your neighborhood, reduce crime on August 2

“National Nights out against Crime” are a lot of fun! Find out where you can go to meet your neighbors, greet public safety folks, and learn how a little “live social networking” can make your block a little bit safer …

East Portland Crime Prevention Coordinators Teri Poppino, Rosanne Lee, Jenni Bernheisel and Katherine Anderson flank the new Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Commander, Mike Lee (he’s the tall one) at the National Night Out rally at Portland City Hall.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
“America’s Night Out Against Crime” – commonly called “National Night Out” (NNO) – will again be observed at dozens of events in outer East Portland on August 2.

National Night Out focuses on crime and drug prevention, building community through neighbors getting to know one another, and having the opportunity to interact with police officers and crime prevention coordinators.

Portland Police Bureau Assistant Chief Eric Hendricks says officers enjoy visiting with neighbors, especially during NNO parties.

At the kickoff rally for this, the 28th annual National Night Out program, at Portland City Hall on July 27, Portland Police Bureau Assistant Chief Eric Hendricks said, “I’ve been with the Police Bureau for 25 of those years. This is one night that officers look forward to every year.”

He added that when police officers and command staff can meet neighbors in a relaxed environment at a NNO party, it helps to open lines of communication. “One sure way of getting police officers to visit is offering them food and drink,” Hendricks quipped.

Firefighters, too, look forward to visiting NNO events, says Portland Fire & Rescue Chief John Klum.

Portland Fire & Rescue Chief John Klum smiled that the fire crews also enjoy NNO events. “Men and women from our stations attended over 100 different block party events last year. It’s important to firefighters, because it reinforces our connection with the public, so they’ll know more about their community-based local fire station.

“We also take this opportunity to get our messages of safety and prevention and preparedness out to everybody the community.”

Teri Poppino, East Portland Crime Prevention Coordinator, reminds neighbors how National Night Out helps promote safe, friendly neighborhoods.

National Night Out is a time when everyone focuses on the positive aspects of crime prevention, observed Teri Poppino, East Portland Crime Prevention Coordinator. “These events are fun and relaxed – a great environment for neighbors to meet one another, and for strangers on the block to become friends.”

This mingling helps neighbors to feel “a part of a larger whole”, Poppino added. “The result is that it creates a lot of good will, familiarity, and neighborliness. This, in turn tends to make neighborhoods safer because, when people get used to talking with one another, they understand that it’s okay to share information. And, as they get to know one another better, they tend to look out for one another, and for the overall benefit of their neighborhood.”

“I really encourage everyone to go out to their local party. There are parties in almost every neighborhood,” Poppino concluded.

Across outer East Portland, neighborhood associations and individuals are hosting National Night Out parties – in fact, 29 such events have been officially registered – all taking place on Tuesday, August 2.

You’ll find neighborhood-association-affiliated events at these locations:

Look at the fun they had at last year’s NNO celebration in Glenfair Park! East Portland News archive photo

Glenfair Neighborhood Association
From 5:00 pm until 11:00 pm enjoy free carnival games and prizes, bouncy house and slide, balloon animals and hats, a hair braiding contes, live music by the River City Band, and then stay on for a “Movie in the park”. It’s at Glenfair Park, NE 154th and Couch Street.

Centennial Community Association
From 6:00 pm until 9:30 pm, they’re holding a street party with music and guest speakers. It will be held near 905 SE 166th Place.

Lents Neighborhood Association
From 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm, it’s their annual “Ice Cream Social” – a fun, relaxed event where you can meet with your neighbors, public safety folks, and usually politicians come by, too. It’s at Lents Park, SE 92nd and SE Holgate, in the picnic area on the 92nd Avenue side, just south of stadium.

Parkrose Heights Association of Neighbors
From 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm, they’re holding a neighborhood-wide get-together, featuring live music. It’s at Knott Park, NE 117th and NE Knott Street.

Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association
From 6:00 pm until about 11 pm, this great group of neighbors is putting on their NNO event in conjunction with a Movie in the Park showing! They’re offering food, community exhibits, and much more. A live band plays; and at dusk, they’ll show a movie on the giant outdoor screen. It’s happening on the west side of Earl Boyle Park, near SE 112th and SE Boise Street.

Judith Huck, owner of Classique Floors, again invites neighbors to come by for their second annual NNO event in SE Stark Street. East Portland News archive photo

Other August 2nd NNO events:
For the second year, Classique Floors in the east Hazelwood Neighborhood area is holding a NNO party from 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm in the parking lot of their store. They plan to have live music, and (we believe) a barbecue. It’s located at 14127 SE Stark Street.

In the Glenfair Neighborhood area, from 6:00 pm until 8:30 pm, the good folks of Lifegate Baptist Church are again holding an event. Hot dogs on the grill, family-oriented games, and a live band makes this a fun event. You’ll find them just south of East Burnside Street, at 208 SE 148th Avenue.

Portland Adventist Academy is again holding a NNO event for the community on their campus from 6:00 pm until 8:30 pm. In past years, they’ve offered free refreshments, a bounce house, great live music by Jack Mahoney’s “Plus Five Trio”, and more. You’ll see them set up at 1500 SE 96th Avenue – but the entrance may be on SE Market Street.

Portland is expecting more than 160 parties happening between July 29 and August 7, with most of them happening on August 2 – which is National Night Out.

To find a party elsewhere in Portland go online – CLICK HERE to open a PDF file on the City of Portland’s website; or call (503) 823-4064.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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