National Night Out (NNO) is an evening dedicated to cultivating community partnerships between neighborhoods and local law enforcement. It’s a unique opportunity for police and neighbors to come together to enjoy what the night has to offer and to ‘take back the night’ against crime and drugs.
Oakdale is just one of the thousands of communities across the nation that takes part in the event, held on the first Tuesday of every August. Though the temperatures are soaring, it takes place just in the evening, when neighborhoods are cooling down.
The Oakdale Police Department will be kicking off the event at Burchell Park in Burchell Hill at 5:30 p.m., while the City of Oakdale hosts a venue at the Oakdale Community Park at the corner of South Yosemite and J Street. There will also be a venue at Bridle Ridge Park. These three main locations welcome the entire community of Oakdale.
“We encourage those who would like to attend to attend one of the three in their neighborhood,” Janeen Yates from the Oakdale Police Department relayed. She added there are also “smaller venues hosting for just their neighborhood.”
National Night Out has been observed in Oakdale for several years and has sometimes been hosted in one centralized location, sometimes with various neighborhoods putting on events.
Lloyd Kjos, who helps organize the Burchell Hill event, said Oakdale was recognized with a Second Place award in the state for its NNO efforts last year.
“We’ll start it out at 5:30 p.m. with the National Anthem, and an Honor Guard,” Kjos explained of the Burchell event. “We’ll have crime prevention information, the city orchestra (Oakdale Community Band), we have barbecued hots dogs and hamburgers, pizza, soda, games, a car show.”
He said the event is open to all and the gathering in Burchell has plenty for everyone to enjoy.
The goal of all the gatherings, officials added, is to strengthen those community-police partnerships that help enhance the quality of life.
“Public safety personnel, council members, and vendors will be out visiting venues and engaging with the community,” Yates reported.
Last year, Oakdale was also ranked 20th nationally for Category 4 awards, those communities with a 15,000 to 50,000 population.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the National Night Out observance.