Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Police Department Put on a Block Party DowntownTonight

Paso Robles Police Chief Burton and Lieutenant Murphy, August 4, National  Night Out, © B. Radisavljevic
Lt. Tim Murphy, left, Chief Robert Burton, Right
Sometimes I'm lucky enough to just stumble into events. I was taking some books back to the library and just happened to notice something unusual was happening while I was on my way to park. The street in front of the police station was blocked off and it was full of  people, police vehicles, and even food. Naturally I had to wander over and see what was going on. What I discovered is that it was National Night Out, the second one in which the Paso Robles Police Department has participated. Lieutenant Tim Murphy (left, above) explained this event is designed to help bring the police and the community together in a non-threatening setting and to educate the public about what police do.

Fingerprint Dusting Demonstration, August 4, National  Night Out, © B. Radisavljevic
Fingerprint Dusting Demonstration
On display were several types of police vehicles. I will show you some of those tomorrow. In this post I want to zero in on some of the things the children were able to participate it. In this photo, a little girl is learning first hand how the police dust for fingerprints at a crime scene. I saw this myself when the police came to my home after it was burglarized in 2013.

Children Playing on Police Vehicle, August 4, National  Night Out, © B. Radisavljevic
Young visitors to this event had a wonderful time. I saw many carrying balloons, and I heard a number of police whistles being blown -- all souvenirs from this party. The children also loved seeing all those police vehicles. These two were enjoying the opportunity to explore this one up close. Another popular activity was eating the hamburgers, hot dogs, and cake which had been donated for this event.

Making Street Art with Chalk, August 4, National  Night Out, © B. Radisavljevic
At the end of the block toward 9th Street, smaller children were occupied making chalk drawings on the street.

I think the National Night Out does give the community a chance to communicate with police in a relaxed setting. Most of the time people only see police officers when crimes are being committed or during traffic stops. Tonight even Chief Burton was available to answer questions from citizens. The eventual goal is to have these events as neighborhood block parties throughout the city, perhaps organized by neighborhood watch groups, with police personnel attending.

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