Despite the Rain, Arlington Police’s National Night Out Continues to Shine

Despite the heavy rainfall, neighbors stepped out Tuesday night to celebrate community.

“We are thrilled to have the rain and to see so many of our neighbors come out,” said Barrie Page-Hill, the organizer of her neighborhood’s first National Night Out gathering at Julia Burgen Park.

With hot dogs on the grill, families sought shelter underneath the park pavilion with Officer Natalia Aumedes, Lieuteant Kyle Dishko and Sergeant Brett McDonnell. The kids played in the rain.

Across the city, National Night Out gatherings brought neighbors together outdoors but when rainfall hit, many packed up and moved indoors. In anticipation of the rain, many of the gatherings were staged in covered areas, said NNO Coordinator Michelle Benjamin.

The APD Crime Prevention Unit is reporting record participation. The latest stats includes 223 registered National Night Out gatherings in Arlington. Neighborhoods in the West Police District led the way with 97 registered activities.

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Now in its 34th year, National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. It’s designed to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live.

“National Night Out continues to strengthen relationships in our city,” said Mayor Jeff Williams, who arrived at Viridian, where hundreds of neighbors gathered ahead of the rainstorm.

Police Chief Will Johnson said the annual campaign provides a great opportunity to bring officers and residents together under very positive circumstances.

“National Night Out began simply with neighbors turning on their porch lights and gathering outdoors at their homes,” Chief Johnson said. “Today, it is so much more and I am thankful to see so many different facets of our community coming together and taking a united stand against crime.”

On the first Tuesday in August, millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide. Because of the heat, Texas celebrates on the first Tuesday in October.

Share your best National Night Out photo highlights. Please send images to Michelle.Benjamin@Arlingtontx.gov.