National Night Out Enhances Neighborliness

National Night Out Enhances Neighborliness

Annual community event is a chance to mingle and enjoy ice cream.

The firetruck was a hit on National Night Out.

The firetruck was a hit on National Night Out.

Whether it was the blocked off cul-de-sac in Springfield or the food truck in the pool parking lot in Burke, neighbors came out on Tuesday, Aug. 6,


McGruff the Crime Dog was at the scene

for camaraderie and ice cream, to celebrate National Night Out.

“It brings the community and crime prevention together,” said officer Michael Stewart, the crime prevention officer at the West Springfield Station. Stewart was in his sixth National Night Out, and sees the results of the community getting together each year. “Very supportive,” he said from the cul-de-sac in the Springfield neighborhood of South Run Forest.

It was the same feeling over in Burke Station Square, where Eileen Patterson volunteered for a few years in a row to gather the community at the Burke Station Swim Club. They had a food truck, an ice cream truck and the pool stayed open late. “The goal is to get you out of your house, that’s what I like to see,” Patterson said. “Be supportive of each other,” she added.


Mazie Hanni, 3, and Benjamin Eason, 2, try out the fire truck in Burke.

Lizzy Fitzpatrick, who was a lifeguard at the pool in past years, hit the DC Steakholders food truck — specializing in steak and cheese subs with French fries. “This is one of our favorites,” she said.

National Night Out began in 1984 when Matt Peskin, founder and executive director of National Association of Town Watch, introduced it in Philadelphia, Pa. as a way to break down the boundaries between law enforcement and the community. The first annual National Night Out involved

“I think it’s important for the kids to know who the first responders are.”

Springfield resident Elyssa Chadab

2.5 million neighbors across 400 communities in 23 states.

Springfield resident Elyssa Chadab watched her children at the fire truck mingle with the officers in South Run Forest. “I think it’s important for the kids to know who the first responders are,” she said. The neighborhood watch was in charge of putting the event together, using flyers and social media. There are 24 residents on the neighborhood watch in that community. They blocked off a cul-de-sac and set up tables in the middle of the street to serve cookies and ice cream. “We think it works,” said Gary McDowell, watch coordinator.