by Morgan Montalvo
San Antonians turned out by the tens of thousands last night for 2018’s National Night Out, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports. The annual nationwide event was established to give neighbors an opportunity to meet and discuss crime prevention ideas, as well as meet their communities’ first responders.
In the Oak Hollow Park subdivision on San Antonio’s far north side, organizer Ron van Kirk tells News Radio 1200 WOAI National Night Out is a one-stop event for new residents to connect and become part of the neighborhoods fabric.
“We have our neighborhood membership drive, we collect school supplies, we answer questions for people who are new to the neighborhood.” says van Kirk, who adds that his neighborhood has several times in previous years won top National Night Out honors. Van Kirk says National Night Out is, for many residents, the best time to forge relationships with people on their streets.
“They’re all staying busy, people are limited on time and, every now and then, you just have to stop, catch your breath and get to meet some of your neighbors. It helps to put a face with a name,” says van Kirk.
District 1 City Councilman Roberto Trevino says National Night Out gives residents an opportunity to identify and discuss infrastructure priorities, “like sidewalks, like better lighting in our city. These are the kinds of things that improve that level of public safety,” Trevino says.
National Night Out, Trevino says, is also tailor-made for citizens interested in establishing working relationships with local police and firefighters, who often staff information booths or conduct safety and crime prevention demonstrations at the annual events.
“Work with them, get to know them. It’s just a really good time to express that community that we know we share here in San Antonio,” Trevino says.
More than 1,700 local groups this year registered their National Night Out events with the San Antonio Police Department, says SAPD spokesman Officer Doug Greene.
More than 1,700 local groups, such as the members of this gathering at Dellview Park on San Antonio's north side, turned out last evening for 2018 National Night Out crime prevention events. Photo by Morgan Montalvo