Neighborhood block parties were held throughout the town of Herndon on Aug. 5 in celebration of National Night Out. In 1984, National Night Out started as a way to promote crime prevention through neighborhood camaraderie. This was the 15th year the Herndon Police Department and the community participated in the celebration of "America's Night Out Against Crime.”
Citizens of the town were encouraged to keep their front door light on to show their support and neighborhood unity. This year the following communities signed up: Herndon Harbor House, Berkdale Apartments, Calhoun Court Community, Crestview Town Homes, Dominion Ridge & Barker Hill Community, Four Seasons Community, Herndon Youth Optimist Club at Haley Smith Park, Oak Trail Court Community, Stuart Woods Apartments, Tralee Community, Village of Herndon Mills, and Worldgate Community.
The event began at Herndon Harbor House at 873 Grace St. From there the police split up into two groups and went to different neighborhoods within Herndon. “We enjoy having the police come by,” said Mary Lou Ferreira, a resident of Herndon Harbor House. “They take very good care of us. With all seniors here it is important to feel secure.” Herndon
POLICE CHIEF Maggie A. DeBoard thanked the staff and residents at Harbor House for the reception. “We have a great relationship with the police here,” said Herndon Harbor House resident Elanor Benedict.
“National Night Out is one of the highlights of the year for our department,” stated Herndon Police Lieutenant Mike Berg. “We always look forward to the opportunity to interact with the community at this annual event. The communities we had the opportunity to visit seemed to enjoy the event as much as our officers.” In August Officer Berg took the position of public information officer for the Herndon Police. The position is a three--year long assignment.
Communities hosted block parties, cookouts and youth activities to celebrate National Night Out. “It was a great night to highlight one of the many perks of living in the Town, an accessible and engaged police force,” stated Herndon Vice Mayor Jennifer Baker. Police officers were welcomed by crowds at the multiple locations. “I thought the National Night Out was a blast,” said Herndon town council member Steven Mitchell. “I really enjoyed seeing the Herndon Police Department positively interacting with the community. This is a perfect example of how strong communities are created and sustained.”
“This event really allows our police department to meet and interact with everyone in a fun friendly way,” stated town of Herndon council member Grace H. Wolf. “The officers and all of us on council really enjoy the opportunity to engage the community and encourage folks to be every day crime fighters, to be safe at all times and to view our police officers as true community advocates and partners.” Six Herndon councilmembers attended the event as well as Del. Tom Rust (R-86) and state Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-33).
At Haley Smith Park, representatives and sports coaches with the Herndon Optimist Club were on location to provide information about their organization. “This event, like all of our events, is to strengthen family involvement within the community,” said Jasmine Faubert, Treasurer of the Herndon Optimist Club. Since 1961, the not-for-profit Herndon Optimist Club has been providing a helping hand to the youth in the greater Herndon community. Sports the Herndon Optimist club sponsors include field hockey, cheerleading, baseball, basketball, football, and lacrosse. Several Herndon police officers volunteer with the Herndon Optimist Club.
“The Optimists Club exists to give youths the opportunity to experience sports before high school,” said Jim Emery. A resident of Herndon, his children participated in sports groups with the Optimists Club. “It was a great event,” said Rebecca Wickline, a volunteer baseball coach for the Herndon Optimist Club. “I had a few people come up to sign their kids onto the baseball group.” Later the police held a motorcycle rodeo by the Four Seasons Recreation Association club house.
THE HERNDON POLICE will be offering a citizens police academy beginning Sept. 4. The academy includes classroom presentations and "on-the-street" demonstrations of radar, a tour of the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, and the opportunity to ride along with an officer on patrol. To be eligible participants must be 18 years of age or older and have no prior criminal record. Applicants need not be Herndon residents, however Town of Herndon residents receive first consideration to attend. For more information on the Herndon Police visit www.herndon-va.gov/Content/public_safety/.