Aug 05, 2011
Tuesday night residents from more than 20 Moore neighborhoods joined together to fight against crime. City officials and residents agree that this year’s National Night Out was a huge success.
“I think we’ve had an excellent turnout and there should be a lot of benefit from citizens getting out, getting to meet each other, getting to know where everyone lives—and kind of watching out for each other—and that’s the purpose of what we are doing tonight,” said Moore police chief Ted Williams.
National Night Out is a nationwide crime- and drug-prevention event that encourages residents to organize block parties and other neighborhood-centered activities. While this is only Moore’s second year to participate, 2011 marks the 28th year of the nationwide celebration.
Moore’s National Night Out actually began with a kickoff event on Monday night. Over one hundred residents gathered in the parking lot of the new Target. Participants not only received free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches and tea, they also got a chance to learn about safety and crime prevention.
Moore police provided entertainment for the kids, and Safety First Oklahoma, a child safety advocacy organization, gave away around 30 car seats to families in need. Many of the families lined up hours before the event for their chance to get a free car seat. The line of cars stretched around the parking lot and out to 19th Street.
Participation was up this year, with approximately 25 neighborhoods joining in the effort to reduce crime and build community relationships.
“There are a lot of people participating—more than we expected, which is nice. It’s nice for [people] to know who their neighbors are, and hopefully, this will cut down on crime,” said Mayor Glenn Lewis.
Residents came together for some food and fun, all coordinated through the City of Moore and the police department. Vendors such as Summer Snow Entertainment, Chick-Fil-A, and Little Caesar’s Pizza visited several neighborhoods to deliver free food.
Mayor Glenn Lewis, City Manager Steve Eddy, Rep. Randy Terrill, Police Chief Ted Williams, members from city council, police offers, and other city employees joined the caravan to several neighborhoods to visit those celebrating National Night Out.
Apple Valley neighborhood was the caravan’s first stop of the night. More than 50 neighbors congregated near their splash pad. Adults had the opportunity to catch up with their neighbors, meet city employees, and grab a bite to eat while children beat the heat and cooled down on the splash pad. Apple Valley residents like Tim Morgan fully support National Night Out.
"I've lived here quite a few years, about eight years, but it's still a growing neighborhood, so I came out here to kind of try to get to know some of my neighbors better,” said Morgan. "It kind of gives us a shot at being a community and not just a bunch of little neighborhoods around town.”
The caravan’s last stop of the night was at the Rock Creek neighborhood pool. These neighbors came together to organize the event. Not only did neighbors get the opportunity to be together, they also got to take a dip in the swimming pool, play on inflatables, win prizes, and eat a complimentary dinner.
"We love to get together. This neighborhood is the most fun. The neighbors are all friendly and helpful,” said Rene Koob, Rock Creek resident. "This is a way for us to get together and know more people. It's super fun. So many organizations are willing to come out and help you and participate."
This year’s National Night Out was even more popular than last year’s.
"The turnout has been great, even more than last year," said James Benear, Apple Valley resident.
Moore’s community is unique. Despite intense heat, hundreds of Moore residents took the time to get together as a community and celebrate National Night Out.
“I think this is fantastic. I’ve been to a lot of National Night Out community meetings over the years and I can tell you, the turnout here is exceptional. I think this shows how very close knit this neighborhood is,” said Rep. Randy Terrill. The reason these things are good is because neighbors get to know neighbors and they can keep an eye on each other and help support each other—and I think that’s what a community is all about.”
For more information about National Night out, please visit NationalNightOut.org.