Bellevue residents turned out to celebrate America’s Night Out Against Crime on Tuesday, Aug. 3, filling the parking lot by the Police department substation at Crossroads.
It was one of several such events throughout the city.
“It is part of our community outreach to encourage people to reclaim their neighborhoods, make them safer places to work and live,” said Lt. Tony Dempsey, from the Neighborhood Services Unit of the Police department.
A main focus of the event was Operation Child Safety, sponsored by Target, where parents were able to register current information about their children, including DNA samples, current photographs, and fingerprints with the Police department in case of kidnappings.
The event also featured demonstrations by local public safety departments, such as the bomb squad and SWAT team, as well as booths by local businesses, including Top Foods and Chipotle.
“It is definitely a communitywide effort, not just a Police department effort,” said Dempsey. “You have to partner with everybody in order to be effective.”
Officer Dave Porter, who organized the event, said that the location was an unusual choice, but one that suited the local Crossroads community well.
“A lot of the neighbors here live in apartments rather than in a home with a yard,” said Porter. “They are here, so we are here and hosting it for everyone in the community.”
Pauline Githara, a local mom, said that she was most excited for Operation Child Safety.
“I Like to see that the police are so involved in our community,” she said. “It’s a great thing to know that, yes, the police are here working with us and keeping us safe.”
Kirsten Smith is an intern with the Bellevue Reporter. She is a student at Northwestern University in Illinois.