In its highest turnout ever, the Department of Community Justice had over 22 employees participate in this year’s National Night Out. National Night Out (NNO) is an annual event which is celebrated across Multnomah County and in over 15,000 communities across the country. NNO is not one event but rather a series of parties organized by concerned citizens and Neighborhood Associations. The purpose of these parties is to bring citizens together with local law enforcement agencies, officials, organizations and businesses for a night to:
- Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness;
- Strengthen neighborhood spirit and public safety-community partnerships; and
- Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
“It’s very important for our adult and juvenile officers to be involved in National Night Out. These events generate excitement for building law enforcement and community connections that enable citizens to feel safe in their own neighborhoods,” shared Carl Goodman at McCoy Park at N. Fiske & N. Trenton.
Overall, DCJ participated in eight parties – concentrating on those held in public parks (McCoy, Peninsula, Holladay, Earl Boyles, Irving Park, Lents Park, Lincoln Park and
Oregon Park). Parole/Probation Officers and Juvenile Court Counselors responded to the questions of participants all the while handing out glow sticks to children. DCJ’s bike patrol unit was also out in force and was even flagged down by police to assist in finding a toddler who wandered away from her family. Karl Johnson, Juvenile Court Counselor, eventually located the toddler who was returned to her mom safe and sound. “This is how it should be”, remarked Barbara Fletcher, Parole and Probation Officer. “The bike patrol was created to better navigate these types of locations and increase our outreach to the community. Tonight proved we are heading in the right direction”