TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Each summer neighborhoods across the country take part in National Night Out.
Saturday, dozens of neighborhoods in Shawnee County hosted their National Night Out events.
From pool parties to good old fashion block parties, community members alongside firefighters and members of law enforcement came together to promote safe, crime-free neighborhoods.
It’s something people of all ages can get involved in.
One young volunteer even helped bring a National Night Out event to his neighborhood of Indian Hills for the first time.
“When we first moved here, there was pretty much no kids that came outside,” said Cameron Nelson. “Then we branched out and talked to people and made new friends. So, I think this will be like an eye-opener for how many kids there actually are and how many new friends you can actually make.”
The main goal of National Night Out is to help people in the community get to know each other and members of law enforcement better to help make their neighborhoods as safe as possible.
For the Bishop Park neighborhood, it was the first time they’ve done the event in years.
Organizer Chris Howe said they wanted to use the event as a way to relaunch their neighborhood watch program.
“We have a lot of neighbors who have lived in their homes for 50 years or 25 years and now we’re starting to see new families move into the neighborhood,” said Howe. “So, it’s really trying to find a way to get everybody to shake hands and get to know each other.”
City and county officials also made their way to several of the neighborhoods to check out their events.
Topeka Police Chief Bill Cochran said building camaraderie among neighbors can help with reducing crime in their neighborhoods.
“Once people feel more comfortable with their neighbors and what’s going on in their neighborhood, then they’re more likely to call when something happens or when something’s out of the ordinary, they give us a call,” said Cochran.
Last year, Shawnee County ranked 6th in the nation for the number of neighborhoods participating in the event.
This year, more than 80 neighborhoods took part in National Night Out, with a couple of them putting on the event for the first time.