North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Arlington celebrates National Night Out

 

August 9, 2017 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

Alex Thulin helps cook some free hamburgers for his neighborhood at the Haller Park National Night Out event on Aug. 1.

Arlington communities came out to meet their neighbors and their police officers during National Night Out on Aug. 1.

At least seven different Arlington neighborhoods including Gleneagle, Crown Ridge, Kona Crest, Country Manor, Airway Park and Magnolia Meadows held gatherings for the annual event.

National Night Out is meant to encourage community involvement and awareness of local policing efforts and has been held since 1984.

Police officers, firefighters and city officials stopped by each of the gatherings to interact with the neighborhood residents.

Arlington local Lana Lasley said that it is a good community event.

"I think it's a real good opportunity for the community to get to know their police officers and their firemen, and not at a time when you call the fire department and have a fire," she said.

Lasley is the treasurer of Arlington nonprofit thrift shop Helping Hands and said that the nonprofit has been supporting the local National Night Out events for the last three years.

Annette Patterson has organized the Haller Park National Night Out gathering for the last few years.

"They're very successful and the people do like to come out and socialize and meet their neighbors," she said.

Last week's heat wave may have kept some people home this year though.

"The crowds a little thin this year, but it's hotter than all get out," she said.

People like the music and food available at the event, said Patterson, and also the social aspect of the event.

"I like meeting people. I definitely enjoy that more than anything," she said. "I get to talk to my neighbors and meet new neighbors."

Local Alex Thulin said he likes "being part of the community," and helps volunteer at National Night Out.

"I like giving back to the community and helping out with the event," he said.

Patterson said the city has assigned council members to each of the neighborhoods this year, as well as fire fighters, police officers and public officials.

City Council member Sue Weiss went to Haller Park this year.

"I think it's a good opportunity for the neighborhoods to come out and get to know each other," she said.

"So they recognize each other, so they can recognize strangers or things that are out of place and report it," she said.

Knowing your community helps make it safer, she said.

"Anytime you have a neighborhood that stays together and does things like this, you're going to have less crime," said Weiss.

Patterson said she saw that in action recently after working together with her community to establish a phone tree.

After a couple of people were spotted potentially scoping out a car to steal, "one of the neighbors took a picture and sent it to my phone," said Patterson.

After the image got out, the suspects were eventually found in Smokey Point, she said. "And they eventually were talked to by law enforcement who knew where to go," she added.

She encourages other neighborhoods to start Neighborhood Watch programs with the city and get involved in making the community safer.

"I started mine on a fluke after I went to the City Council because I had a complaint," said Patterson. "That was four years ago and this is the end result so far."

More information about starting a Block Watch program is available at the city of Arlington's website at arlingtonwa.gov.

 

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