By: Cormeshia Batty, NDG Special Contributor
Southern Dallas District 3 and District 4 celebrated together at Glendale Park for the 35th Annual National Night Out on Tuesday, Oct. 2. The annual community-building campaign, National Night Out promotes a combination of police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to provide more caring places to live and safer neighborhoods. National Night Out is celebrated across thousands of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories, and military bases worldwide. Neighborhoods host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and much, much more.
“National Night Out is a night for neighbors to get to know each other. For all of the different departments of the city/county to come out and to meet each other in a very family friendly, social environment, but, the main thing about National Night Out, is it’s an opportunity for residents to meet their representatives. It’s an opportunity for them to meet the staff of the city that’s out working for them each and every day, that’s what tonight is all about,” explained Dallas City Council’s Vice-Chair of Economics, Casey Thomas.
Residents from both districts were invited for the festivities because, “they are just separated, maybe, by a street. District 4 and District 3, share a border, Polk, and Ledbetter. So, they’ve been knowing each other; they’ve been working together; socializing together and so we said, ‘why not bring them together to celebrate in a family-friendly environment,” Casey, who also serves as Mayor Pro Tem on the council, stated.
Glendale Park, located at 1515 Ledbetter in Dallas, provided a centralized location for the communities to come together. The family-style community cookout included a live band, DJ and a host of community service and city organizations.
Community Services in Action
State Representative, Toni Rose shared her view on the importance of the occasion, “National Night out is very important to our communities because it allows them to engage with our public servants and the officers who work in the community. It also gives our members opportunities to come together and provide resources for the community. As you can see, tonight we have the Chief of Police (Renee Hall), the SPCA and Parks & Recreations. It’s a night for our communities to come together, have a great night and enjoy each other.”
The Urban League Community Service Centers, provided families with a variety of resources including fresh fruit, non-perishable foods, beverages, water, baby diapers, baby wipes, and other essentials that promote health and vitality. Other city organizations involved in last night’s festivities include Dallas Parks and Recreation, the Dallas Police and their Community Affairs Department, Dallas 311 Services and the Spay and Neuter Network.
“When you call 311 they take what’s called a Service Request and based on the service request number they assign it to someone, like Code Sanitation depending on whatever the concern is, and they come out to address that concern to the resident’s satisfaction –that’s the expectation,” Thomas stated.
With both districts experiencing a spike in loose dogs. The Spay Neuter Network was on hand to assist residents with having their pets spayed or neutered and ensuring they’re up-to-date on vaccinations.
“They wanted to come out tonight since we were bringing a lot of residents in the neighborhood together to be able to talk to them in a large group. They have a table set up where people can come and sign up, and this is done at absolutely no charge. It’s actually ongoing, and it’s the law! That’s the main thing, it’s the law, so the whole point is to do it in a more friendly as opposed to punitive method or way,” Thomas said.
The event was an informative and fun experience for adults and children alike.
“I met the Chief of Police, she shook my hand. The food is good, and I’m having a lot of fun,” ten-year-old Andrew Nash II confirmed.