On Tuesday, Aug. 6, the Herndon Police Department and the community participated in the celebration of "America's Night Out Against Crime." This national event is designed to heighten crime prevention and awareness, and foster neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.
This year, 14 neighborhoods in Herndon planned celebrations and block parties. The event began at 5:30 p.m. at the Herndon Harbor House. It concluded at the Four Seasons neighborhood. Citizens of the town were encouraged to keep their front door light on to show their support and neighborhood unity. At each gathering, the Town of Herndon Police Department presented the main organizer with a special certificate thanking them for helping to get the community together.
At Stanton Park in Herndon, there was a hot dog bbq hosted by Delegate Tom Rust (R-86). “I would encourage more citizens to be involved in National Night Out as it is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors and constituents,” said Gary Rinker, who came out to attend.
At Hayley Smith Park, the Herndon Optimist Club members and youth sports league coaches hosted a National Night Out event. Parents and children were able to try out the sports (baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, lacrosse and field hockey), enjoy pizza and face painting, and meet the Herndon Police Department officers.
Since 1961, the not-for-profit Optimist Club of Herndon has been providing a helping hand to the youth in the greater Herndon community. “This is our third or fourth year participating with Herndon Night Out. We see this as an opportunity for kids to see our sports leagues,” said Wendy Booma, president of the Herndon Optimists Club. Jasmine Faubert, secretary treasurer of the Optimists club, also helped organize the evening event at Hayley Smith Park.
This is the 14th year the Herndon Police Department and the community participated in the celebration of "America's Night Out Against Crime."
“We have had more communities participating in this year’s event than last year,” said Senior Police Officer Denise Randles, coordinator for this year’s event. Several neighborhoods stops were selected after they had submitted applications, and at these locations Herndon Police officers would visit for about 20 minutes. “It is pretty much us getting out and seeing the people we interact with,” said Officer Steven Monahan.
The event concluded at the Herndon Four Seasons neighborhood with the landing of a Fairfax County Police helicopter. “We usually fly with a crew of three people,” said helicopter senior flight officer and paramedic Robert M. Evans.
“Fairfax County Police has two helicopters and this is our newest one, about 2 years old. … Our base is near Fair Oaks Mall. We have to be ready to respond to any call so long as weather is clear,” said Evans.
“It is always a fun time, a chance to see people and meet with the officers … it helps pull people together,” said Art Anselene, town manager and chief administrative officer for the Town of Herndon.