Community event brings police, residents closer

Concerned citizens will get a chance to speak with officers from their local police stations today as part of the 25th annual National Night Out, an annual event organizers say aims to bring communities together to aid in crime prevention.

More than 10,000 communities and 35 million people participated across the country in the event last year, according to the national organizers. In San Francisco, all 10 police stations have events planned.

Darrow Vanderburgh-Wertz, who works for the Safety Network, a San Francisco nonprofit that organizes local meetings with law enforcement agencies, said neighborhood involvement is essential in tackling crime.

“Having people feel comfortable with the police and their community is very important,” said Vanderburgh-Wertz, who works the Taraval Police Station, which is hosting a NNO event with free barbecue and music. “When community members know each other, they feel safer.”

Highlights from other police districts’ National Night Out events include sporting events with officers from Park Station at the Boys and Girls Club on Page Street, carnival games at the Tenderloin Children’s Playground on Ellis Street, refreshments and a Canine Unit demonstration at the Mission Station Community Room, bocce ball with officers at the North Beach Club House, and an open house and barbecue at the Ingleside Station on John V. Young Lane.

National Night Out is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, a nonprofit organization based out of Philadelphia.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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