National Night Out Brings Community and Law Enforcement Together

National Night Out Brings Community and Law Enforcement Together

National Night Out Brings Community and Law Enforcement Together

Real change happens when communities and law enforcement come together to communicate, exchange ideas, and learn from one another. At John Jay College, we know that establishing better relations between the two groups is vital to creating safer and more caring communities. That’s why John Jay students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends, were proud to join communities across the United States on August 6, to celebrate the annual National Night Out Against Crime. The community-building event creates a positive environment and valuable opportunity for the neighborhood to come out and meet their local law enforcement.

John Jay's Public_Safety Sergeant Alan Orozco answers questions
John Jay’s own Public Safety Sergeant Alan Orozco answers a community member’s question

At our local National Night Out event, we spoke with local residents, law enforcement, elected officials, and even some tourists, to learn why an event like National Night Out is so important for communities. “It’s always good for people from the neighborhood to meet the officers in their precinct,” said Assemblymember Richard N. Gottfried, from New York’s District 75. “This event shows that we are all real people and establishes lasting bonds between residents and those who admirably serve them.”

John Jay student Jesse Funtleyder ’21 chats with Assemblymember Richard N. Gottfried
John Jay student Jesse Funtleyder ’21 chats with
Assemblymember Richard N. Gottfried

“This event shows that we are all real people and establishes lasting bonds between residents and those who admirably serve them.” —Assemblymember Richard N. Gottfried

National Night Out, which usually occurs on the first Tuesday in August, has the spirit of a fun neighbor block party. There’s music, face painting, bouncy houses, games, and barbecues. The relaxed nature of the event fosters engagement between residents, public officials, and local law enforcement. “It’s important for community and law enforcement to come together in this kind of event,” said Community Affairs Officer Angelica Beltran. “It’s a night for people to feel comfortable approaching us and getting to know us personally. And, it helps establish a sense of normalcy through nice conversation.”

NYPD officers going over the evening’s event
NYPD officers going over the evening’s event

“It’s a night for people to feel comfortable approaching us and getting to know us personally. And, it helps establish a sense of normalcy through nice conversation.” —Community Affairs Officer Angelica Beltran

The law enforcement officials attending the event were proud to participate in the festivities and connect with the residents. “It’s all about the community and this event is one of the best forms of public service,” said New York City Police Department (NYPD) Officer Richard Fazio, Neighborhood Coordination Officer for Transit District One. “We’re all here giving back, meeting the people, seeing the kids smile, and making the community better. That’s what it’s all about.”

While National Night Out only happens once a year, law enforcement makes an effort to connect with the community year-round. “We often try to familiarize ourselves with as many individuals as we can,” said Officer Fazio. “We’ll randomly talk with people in the community and local business owners. It’s important for us to know the residents so that we can better serve them.”

A NYPD stand
A local resident stops by the NYPD stand to learn more about how he can help keep his community safe