West Miami Participates in “National Night Out”
Every year, the community of West Miami comes together for the “National Night Out” event. This event promotes police-community partnerships with five police agencies in attendance. “This event is a chance for the community to meet the police officers and the kids have a good time” said officer Nelson Andreu, “We do some police demonstrations with canine and mountain patrol. It’s a good event where the police officers go out and spend a couple of hours having fun.”
The main purpose of “National Night Out” is to improve safety. “We bring in a lot of information about crime prevention” said officer Sandra Machin. “Any questions a citizen has regarding crime prevention or how to make the community safer we will answer.” Another purpose of “National Night Out” is to create a decrease in the number of criminals. “This event was created years ago when people left their porch lights on” said Andreu. “It’s a sign to the criminals that we don’t want you in the community.”
Many local residents showed up to the event this year with some important people in attendance, including the mayor of West Miami, Eduardo Muhina. “This event brings the community together and also makes people aware of police protection,” said Muhina. Also in attendance was City Manager Yolanda Aguilar. “The show of officers that we have here shows the community that the police department is here to protect them,” said Aguilar. “This is a community where police presence is greatly appreciated.”
This event doesn’t only take place in West Miami. As the name suggests, it takes place all across the United States with this being the 25th year. “National Night Out takes place all across the nation usually on the first week of August or the first week of October” said Andreu. “We choose to do it in October since it is a little cooler and the weather is usually better at this time of year; also October is Crime Prevention Month.” National Night Out is different where ever you go. In Farmington, New Mexico, the officers dyed their hair pink in honor of breast cancer awareness month. In Leesburg, Florida, police officers participated in hula hoop contests and in Lafayette, Louisiana, everyone left their doors unlocked and porch lights on when they went to the event. These are just a few examples of how “National Night Out” brings the community together.
Chris Forero and Ricky Gomez assisted in the creation of this story